The SBTP National Coordinator met the new WHO Representative Pakistan Dr. M. Assai Ardakani on February 08, 2017. Dr. Farah Sohail (WHO Country Office) was also present in the meeting. The NC briefed the WR about the country blood transfusion scenario, SBTP background, achievements so far and the challenges faced. The WR was also informed about the valuable Technical Assistance received from WHO since the last few years. The WHO Country Blood Safety Work Plan 2017 was also discussed in detail. The NC highlighted advocacy, capacity building, strengthening of the regulatory authorities and voluntary blood donation promotion activities as the key areas for support from WHO.
The WR expressed the need to significantly improve blood safety standards and generate credible BT statistics in Pakistan. He underscored the need to substantially enhance the WHO assistance to compliment the government’s efforts to reform the blood transfusion sector through the Safe Blood Transfusion Programme. The WR asked the National Coordinator to develop a comprehensive Plan in this regard which should include, among other things conducting a National Baseline Survey, strengthening of BT regulatory authorities, evaluation of the Programme by international technical experts, national ambassador activities etc. The WR also committed to advocate for blood safety promotion with other partners including UNAIDS and other UN agencies.