A team of Consultants from EPOS including Dr. Muhammad Raza, Prof. Javaid Usman and Mr. Usman Waheed visited Peshawar in the first week of February to assess the level of RBC operationalization, identify the bottlenecks, administrative and technical issues, etc in the proper functioning of the RBCs. Some of the hurdles being faced are well-known but many are still un-recognized.
The team met Prof. Tahir Khan, Project Director SBTP, Dr. Ghulam Farooq, Manager RBC, RBC staff and visited the RBC. They observed the operations in the Regional Blood Centre and identified key hurdles in the functioning of RBC. The Centre is functional only in the morning shift and coordination with the attached HBBs is weak. The team of consultants visited the attached HBBs at the Hayatabad Medical Complex, Institute of Kidney Disease and Khyber Teaching Hospital to identify the issues and constraints in the coordination mechanism. The consultants also had the opportunity to meet Dr. Muhammad Zaheen Khan, Additional Director General, Department of Health who is the head of Blood Transfusion Project Committee in the DOH. He emphasized on the rational use of blood through training and sensitization of clinicians and gave directions to Prof. Tahir to resolve the pending issues related to funding and hiring. The consultants met the Additional Secretary Health (Mr. Masood Younas) and Chief Planning Officer (Mr. Sher Gul) at the Department of Health and briefed about the objective of the visit. As an outcome of the meeting, the Additional Secretary asked the Project Director SBTP to (1) submit the recurring budget of the project for 2017-18; (2) revise the nomenclature and hire the required staff; (3 ) get letters with the specific site plan from the Ayub Medical Complex and DI Khan. A follow-up visit will be conducted to implement the decisions taken during the meeting.