Blood is the most precious gift that we can give to another. A single blood donation can save three lives. According to the WHO, 78 countries collect more than 90 percent of blood voluntarily....
Blood is the most precious gift that we can give to another. A single blood donation can save three lives. According to the WHO, 78 countries collect more than 90 percent of blood voluntarily. Pakistan is among those low-income bracket countries that suffers from an appalling lack of blood donors. It is estimated that out of around 2.7 million blood donations every year just 10 percent are voluntary, despite 70 percent of the population being young. The government of Pakistan is making strenuous efforts though the Safe Blood Transfusion Program, with the financial support of the German government. Under the SBTP, ten regional blood centres have been established. Pakistan has an acute safe blood shortage and this issue needs to be addressed urgently. According to the SBTP coordinator, about three percent of the population must donate blood to fulfil the country’s requirement.
Pakistan has one of the highest thalassaemia burdens in the world and the number of patients is increasing every year. It further strains our under-capacity healthcare system while causing misery for the families of the infected. The life span of patients has no doubt increased because of blood transfusions but they also need medical support such as iron chelation therapy, which is often compromised because of financial issues. The Baitul Mal is doing an extraordinary job of providing facilities to such patients and their families. The government must run an awareness campaign regarding blood donation to eradicate the myths surrounding the procedure, which make many healthy individuals hesitant to donate blood. People’s attitudes towards blood donation need to be changed and it can only be only done with an active health education program and by facilitating the community.
Engr M Usman Javed Sial