LAHORE - Hepatitis C test kits have disappeared from blood banks of government hospitals in the province including Lahore, causing huge difficulties to the patients needing blood transfusion.

Blood Transfusion Services have not provided kits to public sector hospitals in required numbers since the last over one week, causing severe shortage of necessary item at blood banks. The management is asking blood donors to purchase kits from the market so that necessary test can be carried out before blood transfusion.

Staff at blood banks said that the shortage was due to delay in provision of kits by the Blood Transfusion Services. They said that there was no other option except to ask donors to purchase kits from the market. Meanwhile, Advisor to Chief Minister on Health Kh Salman Rafiq has directed EDOs Health of all the districts to pay full attention to further improve the performance up to union council level. Chairing monthly meeting of EDOs Health at Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Monday, he said that the districts, tehsils and union councils showing poor performance should be identified so that necessary steps could be taken for improving their performance.  Secretary Health Dr Ijaz Munir, Director General Health Dr Zahid Pervaiz, representative of WHO Ubaid Islam, representative of Melinda Gates Foundation Dr Aslam Ch, representatives of UNICEF and other institutions besides Directors of different health programmes and EDOs Health of all the districts attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed the performance of every district with regard to EPI, mother and child health programme, anti-measles campaign 2014, dengue control, lady health workers programme and the steps for purchase and availability of medicines for basic health units and other hospitals.

The meeting decided to ensure provision of 15 and 25 liter petrol per month to vaccinators and supervisors respectively for implementation on EPI Programme so that they could cover their specific areas for vaccination of children. Secretary Health directed all the EDOs Health to ensure supply of petrol to all the vaccinators as per schedule.