ISLAMABAD - There is a dire need of promoting vol­untary blood donation culture in the country as it relies on ‘family donors’ to sustain the transfusion system, speakers said on Thursday.

On the occasion of World Blood Do­nor Day, Prof Zaheer, project director Safe Blood Transfusion Programme, said that it was very important to pro­mote the culture of voluntary blood donations in Pakistan as the country essentially relied on the ‘family do­nors’ to sustain the transfusion sys­tem.

He said that this was not an envia­ble situation and placed unnecessary burden on families of patients who are already under stress.

Reliance on voluntary and regu­lar blood donors will also improve the blood safety standards manifold. In addition, it will also transform the current ‘demand-driven system’ into a ‘supply-driven system’ as is the case in the countries which have an effi­cient and well functioning blood sys­tem, he said.

To achieve this objective, healthy people, particularly the youth have to come forward and donate blood on a regular basis, 3 to 4 times a year. Prof Zaheer added that the Islamabad Re­gional Blood Centre will be developed by the end of the next year and must have 100% reliance on voluntary and regular blood donors.