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June 15, 2011

Experts stress need for safe blood transfusion


June 15, 2011


World Blood Donors’ Day was marked in a befitting manner in the city on Tuesday as several activities were arranged by various NGOs and Blood Banks, including blood donation camps, lectures, and seminars to highlight the importance of voluntary blood donation in protecting precious human lives.
Health experts and haematologists delivered lectures to different gatherings of people and persuaded them to regularly donate blood as it is not only helpful in protecting lives of people who off and on require blood but it is beneficial for the donors also.
Hussaini Blood Bank administration held blood donation camps at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) and Geo Television Network offices where a large number of journalists donated blood for needy patients.
At the KPC, the Hussaini Blood Bank also tested journalists and common people for Thalassemia (a genetic blood disorder) while nine pints of blood was donated by the journalists at the camp.
Similarly, some 22 journalists and staff members of Geo TV donated blood and vowed to continue this donation to help ease the suffering of patients, especially children who always depend on blood donations to survive.
Blood donation camps were also established at several other offices of media outlets and multinational companies where haematologists convinced people to come for blood donations and said regular blood donation was a ‘Sadqa-e-Jaria’.
A blood donation camp was also set up at the office of Umair-Sana Foundation at its office in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi where common people including students donated blood and vowed to continue donating blood.
Delivering a persuasive lecture to common people, Blood Bank Manager of Umair-Sana Foundation (USF) Dr. Syed Rahat Hussain urged people to come forward and regularly donate blood that helps NGOs and hospitals to save lives of thousands of young children.
“Several thousand Thalassemia patients always remain dependent on donors’ for their blood

requirement as due to genetic reasons, their body does not produce Red Blood Cells” he informed.
The Fatimid Foundation also held an awareness seminar at a local hotel where haematologists and health experts highlighted the importance of blood donations and appreciated those who regularly come forward and give the generous donation of their blood to save lives.
Chief of Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority (SBTA), Dr. Zahid Ansari, speaking on the occasion highlighted the importance of safe blood transfusion and said that the government was striving to ensure of safe blood to needy patients in the province.
Later, talking to The News, blood diseases experts said that in Pakistan the practice of voluntarily blood donating was very low as compared to developed and developing countries and due to that patients, especially those who required regular blood donations, miserably suffered.
“Every year, 5000 to 6000 children are born in Pakistan with Thalassemia major, a condition in which the patient require blood transfusion once or twice a month. In addition to these patients, blood transfusion is required during surgeries” Dr Zeeshan Hussain, a known hematologist said.
Associated with Umair Sana Foundation (USF), Dr Zeeshan said that reliable data was available of how much blood is annually required in Pakistan and how many people donate blood, but the gap between blood donors and recipients was very high and growing.
“According to an estimate, some 3.2 million units of blood are required annually in Pakistan while the shortfall of blood unit is over 1.2 to 1.3 million units. The ratio of voluntary blood donations is deplorably low in Pakistan as compared to other countries” he said.
Rejecting the misconception that donating blood is harmful, he said that regularly donating blood was beneficial for human health as it prevents the donor from hypertension, cardiac ailments, and aging process.
Secretary, Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority (SBTA) Dr Zahid Ansari appealed people to donate at least one unit of blood either on their birthday or on world blood donors’ day so that blood requirement in the country could be met.
Regarding safe blood transfusion in the province, he said stern action was being taken against illegal blood banks across the province and several blood banks had been sealed whereas numerous blood banks with good progress had been registered.




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