Progress, achievements and challenges of IBTA reviewed

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Progress, achievements and challenges of IBTA reviewed

Federal Minister of National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination, Aamer Mehmood Kiani chaired the meeting of the Islamabad based blood banks in the Health Ministry. The consultative meeting was organized by the Islamabad Blood Transfusion Authority (IBTA). The objective of the meeting was to introduce the Minister to the representatives of the licensed blood banks and share the progress, achievements and challenges of the revived IBTA. The Health Minister awarded appreciation certificates to the licensed blood banks. Prof. Hasan Abbas Zaheer, Chairman IBTA conducted the proceedings of the meeting.

The agenda of the interactive consultative meeting included sharing of IBTA blood transfusion regulation experience, feedback of the IBTA inspectors and the inspectee blood banks and experience sharing by the provincial blood transfusion authorities. The meeting participants included representatives from all the registered and licensed blood banks functioning in the Islamabad Capital Territory, IBTA Inspectors and partners from the provincial blood transfusion authorities.

Speaking on the occasion the Health Minister acknowledged the achievements of IBTA under the leadership of Prof. Zaheer and expressed his satisfaction on the development of a model blood transfusion regulation system in Islamabad. The Minister appreciated Prof. Zaheer’s contribution in reforming the overall blood safety system in the country from the platform of the German government funded Safe Blood Transfusion Programme. The German government is supporting the blood sector reforms in Pakistan since 2010 through a grant from KFW and GIZ. The Minister assured the participants of the commitment of the new government to ensure universal access to safe blood throughout the country and in this regard desired the continued support from the German government for the flagship project.

Earlier, Prof. Zaheer, Chairman IBTA shed light on the performance and progress made by the revived IBTA. He recapped the process of developing a system of blood banks regulation which is well suited to the national needs and also consistent with the international recommendations. He informed that the IBTA model is being replicated in the provinces and the international partners including the World Health Organization have cited the IBTA performance as a model for the regional countries. The Chairman especially highlighted the exemplary cooperation and coordination between the regulator (IBTA) and the regulated blood banks as a unique feature of the Islamabad Blood Transfusion Authority. He urged the blood bank representatives to continuously implement the national standards and guidelines in their blood banks. Prof. Zaheer also appreciated the efforts of the IBTA inspectors who generously contribute their valuable time for blood bank inspections. He also paid tribute to the committed IBTA team for their tireless efforts.

The Blood Bank Inspectors and other participants also shared their pleasant experience of working with IBTA and the Safe Blood Transfusion Programme to promote blood safety in the country. The meeting participants appreciated the IBTA initiative to organize this meeting which provided an opportunity to have an interactive dialogue with the Health Minister and exchange views and provide valuable suggestions to him. Some short videos of the SBTP blood centers developed through the German KFW Bank grant and voluntary blood donation messages were also shared in the meeting.