The Agreement for the Safe Blood Transfusion Project, for the Islamabad region, was signed today (June 17, 2016) by Mr. Hassan Iqbal, Secretary, Capital Administration & Development Division (CA&DD) and Mr. Wolfgang Mollers, Country Director, German KFW Bank. Dr. Tariq Fazal Choudhury, Minister of State for CA&DD and Prof. Hasan Abbas Zaheer, Project Director, SBTP were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister highly appreciated the German government support for the blood project and said that access to safe and quality blood was a key priority of the government in the health sector. With the development of the modern blood center in Islamabad through this Agreement funding, the citizens of the federal capital will soon have a model transfusion service delivery system. He further informed that in the vicinity of the new Blood Center, the government is building a large tertiary care hospital which will also benefit from the Blood Center. He said that the Safe Blood Transfusion Programme was working with great commitment and dedication to implement this project and to promote the culture of voluntary blood donations in Islamabad. The target is to have the new Blood Center completely reliant on the voluntary and regular blood donations who are the safest blood donors. This will also ensure that the patients are not burdened with the task of providing blood donors. Through the phase I implementation of this project the standard of blood transfusion services in the country has already significantly improved.

The Country Director, German KFW Bank, thanked the Minister on taking special interest in the implementation of this important project. He also congratulated the Minister on the Agreement signing through which a modern Blood Center will be developed for the residents of Islamabad. He said that the highest standards of construction will be maintained and latest modern equipment provided for this Center and for the hospital blood banks in Islamabad. He also committed to become a voluntary blood donor in the new Center. He said that similar Regional Blood Centers and hospital blood banks have been successfully developed and equipped in the first phase of the project all over the country and now the German government is supporting the second phase of this project to expand the scope and coverage of the project in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Zaheer, Project Director, SBTP, informed that the German funded Islamabad Regional Blood Center will be constructed in a central location in Islamabad in the vicinity of new hospital, health institutes, colleges and universities. The Center will sensitize and mobilize voluntary blood donors and collect their blood. The collected blood will be processed, tested, screened and blood components prepared and stored according to quality assured systems. The prepared blood components will be supplied to all the public and private sector hospitals in Islamabad. The existing blood banks in the Islamabad hospitals will thus be re-modeled and transformed into patient oriented blood banks who will only collect the prepared components and store them until utilized by the patients. The new system, managed by a computerized management information system, will thus improve blood safety, bring economy of scales, prevent duplication of services and rely 100% on voluntary blood donations. He added that the Islamabad Blood center will develop international collaborations for trainings and research and development and also serve as a model for the provinces to emulate.