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June 23, 2021

WHO appoints Dr Zaheer to blood safety panel

 
June 23, 2021

Islamabad: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has appointed Pakistan's former national coordinator of the German government-funded Safe Blood Transfusion Programme Prof Hasan Abbas Zaheer to its Advisory Group on Blood Regulation, Availability and Safety.

The group comprises 25 international experts on blood regulation and blood transfusion medicine.

Prof Zaheer hailed the appointment as an honour for him and the country and said it was an acknowledgement of the achievements of the blood safety systems reforms implemented in the country since 2008 by the government’s Safe Blood Transfusion Programme.

"While continuing to contribute to the blood safety reforms process in the country, I, as a member of the prestigious WHO Advisory Group, will also share my professional expertise to promote blood regulation, availability and safety at the international level," he said.

Prof Zaheer, the pioneer of blood safety reforms initiated in the

country by the federal health ministry in 2008, served as the national coordinator of the German government-funded Safe Blood Transfusion Programme from its start in 2010 to his retirement last year.

During the period, he helped transform the existing fragmented and unsafe blood system with the internationally recommended centrally coordinated system through the development of a nationwide network of large modern regional blood centres linked to the existing (renovated) hospital-based blood banks.

Through the programme, the capacity of national partners and many implementation systems and processes were developed and tested. In addition to the national stakeholders, the key international partners in this reform process included the German Development Bank KfW and WHO.