ABBOTTABAD: Haematologists and blood bank operators at a seminar here on Saturday stressed the need for safe blood transfusion and maximum conservation of a patient’s own blood rather than depending on donor blood supply.

The experts also called for the introduction and promotion of blood safety standards, particularly in tertiary care hospitals, to pave the way for an adequate, efficient and cost-effective blood supply.

The one-day seminar was organised by the Safe Blood Transfusion Programme in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and Ayub Medical Institution, Abbottabad, on Haemovigilance and Clinical Use of Blood at the Conference Room of Ayub Medical College.

More than 35 participants including assistant professors, registrars, medical officers from medicine, surgery, gynae/obstetrics, paediatrics, pathology, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, gastroenterology, oncology, accident and emergency and nursing supervisors of Ayub Medical Institution attended the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Hassan Abbas Zaheer, national coordinator of the Safe Blood Transfusion Project (SBTP), stated that as a result of the efforts of the programme management and the commitment of stakeholders, a national platform of the sector had been created and the blood programme had become the national voice of blood safety at national and international levels.

Prof Zaheer also outlined the national strategy for the promotion of voluntary blood donation in the country as articulated in the National Blood Policy. The national strategy proposes the strengthening of educational institution-based blood donor organisations, which exist all over the country.

These organisations managed by the committed and energetic youth contribute to the voluntary donor pool but due to lack of proper technical guidance and supervision, their true potential remains to be unlocked, he added.

Other speakers included Dr Naeema Afzal, chairperson Pathology Department, Dr Ihsanul Haq, focal person Ayub Teaching Hospital, and Nauman Siddiqui, coordinator, Department of Medical Education, Usman Waheed, technical expert SBTP, while Professor Dr Azizun Nisa, dean Ayub Medical College, was the chief guest on the occasion and he also distributed the certificates amongst the participants later on