It is a matter of great satisfaction that a project that was conceived and planned in 2008, by the Ministry of Health has in a very short span of time developed into a very inspiring public health programme. The project design conceived in 2008 anticipated the forthcoming 18th amendment and the devolution of the subject of health to the provinces. It was, therefore, the policy decision of the Health Ministry to develop separate PC-1s for federal and provincial programmes. The Ministry developed six separate PC-1s in close collaboration with each province and all the stakeholders. The same were subsequently approved by their respective PDWPs with the guidance and support provided by the Ministry of Health. The government acknowledges the generous grant provided to this project by the government of the Federal Republic of Germany through its Technical and Financial Cooperation components funded by GIZ and KfW respectively.
In 2014, the SBTP under the supervision of Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation & Coordination adopted a systematic and participatory approach to revise the National Blood Policy & Strategic Framework (2014-20) to ensure a sustainable planning base for the future. The overarching priorities regarding blood transfusion services that are addressed in this framework include: equity; the development of leadership, planning and management capacity; quality of care and monitoring and evaluation. The new framework has taken into account devolution and decentralization issues and acknowledges the role of Blood Donor Organizations in the promotion of voluntary non-remunerated blood donations.
The Safe Blood Transfusion Project remains high on the priority of the present Government. The honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan recently granted special exemption on all kind of taxes for this project. And the continued commitment to this vital public health project will again be reiterated soon with the signing of the second phase of the project with the German partners. The Safe Blood Transfusion Project can truly be termed a success story as, despite serious administrative and constitutional challenges, the Programme implementation was not allowed to suffer and a solid foundation of a sustainable blood transfusion system has been laid in the country.
The kind patronage and dynamic leadership of the worthy Minister of State Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarar has been central to the implementation of the Programme and she continues to take a very keen interest in the progress of this public welfare project. I express my appreciation to Prof. Hasan Abbas Zaheer and his team for consolidating and strengthening the Programme and working in close coordination and harmony with the provinces.