ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in collaboration with German Red Cross (GRC) on Tuesday inaugurated the state-of the-art model blood bank in Pakistan with voluntarily donations. PRCS Chairman Saeed Ahmed Qureshi inaugurated the new blood bank at a ceremony here at the PRCS National Headquarters. Speaking on the occasion, the PRCS Chairman Saeed Ahmed Qureshi said that it is the only blood bank that implements all aspects of safe blood programme that includes education, awareness, motivation and voluntary un-paid blood donor recruitment and retention in educational institutions, offices and market places, blood collection, storage, distribution, blood grouping, screening, component preparation, anti-hepatitis B, C and HIV campaigns. He said that the blood bank will ensure the implementation of quality control to minimise the risk of transmission to TTIs through blood. He said that in collaboration with the medical university it would also act as a training centre in transfusion medicine for modern blood banking laboratory. He said that absence of a well organised donor recruitment programme at government level, absence of an MOU between the PRCS and GoP, insufficient organisational capacity of PRCS due to lack of financial, technical and human resources in implementation of donor recruitment, lack of education/awareness about safe blood and serious health concerns of individuals before, during and after blood donation including high prevalence of anaemia, hepatitis B and C at community level are main hurdles to enhancing blood collection from voluntarily unpaid blood donors. PRCS Secretary General Muhammad Ilyas Khan said that the objective of PRCS blood programme is to strengthening and expansion of donor recruitment centre, enhanced education and creating awareness for promotion of voluntarily blood donation, blood safety and healthy life style to minimise the risk of spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C. PRCS Blood Donor Centre Joint Director Dr Asma Pervez Cheema addressing the participants of the ceremony said that the PRCS in collaboration with federal directorate of education has launched blood safety education to promote healthy life styles in 35 colleges through PRCS youth health safety clubs in twin cities. She said that by the end of 2009, PRCS will have approximately 350,000 beneficiaries per anum in mass awareness and 8,000 registered donors. She thanked all the donors for their gift of life. The ceremony was attended by the representatives of IFRC, ICRC, sister national societies and donors.