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Indus Hospital blood centre becomes first in South Asia to get American accreditation in blood banking

November 28, 2023

The blood centre at the Indus Hospital Karachi has become the only centre in the entire South Asia to achieve Association for Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB) accreditation in blood banking, officials said on Monday.

“The Indus blood center Karachi is the first and only centre in entire Pakistan and entire South Asia to achieve American standards in blood banking, which is Association for Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies accreditation,” Dr Abdul Bari Khan, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Indus Hospital and Health Network, told The News.

According to a review of the blood banking system in Pakistan by the World Health Organization (WHO), the blood system is largely ineffective in producing blood and blood products of acceptable level of safety and quality.

The Indus Hospital logo can be seen in this image. — Facebook/Indus Hospital & Health Network
The Indus Hospital logo can be seen in this image. — Facebook/Indus Hospital & Health Network

The system is also inefficient due to poor motivation and selection of blood donors; inappropriate use of blood and blood products; wastage of blood and blood products including plasma that can be used for fractionation; high administrative, bureaucracy and transaction cost and duplication of efforts due to fragmentation of blood supply system, the WHO report says.

“In these circumstances, AABB accreditation for the Indus blood center is a great achievement for healthcare sector in Pakistan and it also provides a ray of hope for the other blood centers to follow the global standards in blood banking and provide safe blood to the people in Pakistan,” Dr. Bari Khan added.

It is estimated that Pakistan requires around 8,000 to 10,000 units of blood every day for hundreds of thousands of thalassaemia patients, surgeries and transplants as well as those who having accidents and trauma, while the transfusion needs outstrip the current availability of blood.

“The Indus Hospital & Health Network stands at the forefront of centralized blood banking in Pakistan, through the largest network of its kind in the country. With 4 regional blood centres and 21 hospital blood banks spanning across Punjab and Sindh, the network annually serves 7,825 hospital beds, providing life-saving blood to approximately 700,000 patients,” Dr Abdul Bari said, adding that this achievement is a testament to the unwavering commitment of the Indus Hospital & Health Network in ensuring the availability of safe blood for all.

Director Blood Transfusion Services at IHHN Dr Saba Jamal said it was a great achievement for a Pakistani healthcare institution to achieve the gold standard in blood banking as no other blood centrr in entire SAARC region had the aabb accreditation so far.

“Our blood center was inspected the AABB team and they have informed us of our eligibility to have the prestigious Association for Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies Accreditation in blood banking. We achieved this prestigious accreditation without hiring any national or international consultant,” she added.

She deplored that voluntary blood donation was very low in Pakistan where only 10-12 percent people donate blood voluntary, saying often people have to run after healthy donors in case any of their relatives require blood transfusion for surgery or other needs.

“This accomplishment places The Indus Hospital Blood Center as the pioneer, being the first site in Pakistan and SAARC countries to provide certified safe blood at American standards, completely free of cost,” she said.