Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, earlier known as North-West Frontier Province, is in the northwestern region of the country along the Afghanistan border, to the west; Gilgit-Baltistan to the northeast; and Azad Kashmir, Islamabad and Punjab to the east and southeast. The province has 7 divisions and 26 districts and covers an area of 74,521 km² with a population of 30,523,371.
The Department of Health, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa aims ‘to improve the health status of the population in the province through ensuring access to a high quality, responsive healthcare delivery system which provides acceptable and affordable services in an equitable manner’. The province first approved blood safety legislation in 1999 titled ‘North-West Frontier Province Transfusion of Safe Blood Act No. IX of 1999’. The Act covered the establishment of a Blood Transfusion Authority under its Section 5. But the Authority was never notified. In 2002, NWFP Medical Health Institutions and Regulation of Health Care Services Ordinance was approved which in addition to hospitals, nursing homes, maternity home, medical/consulting clinic, dental clinics, clinical laboratory, x-ray clinics, psychiatry clinics, operation theaters, etc also covered the blood banks. The Health Regulatory Authority established in 2003 under section 20 of this Ordinance was thus also responsible for registration and licensing of blood banks in the province.
In 2010, the blood safety system reforms were initiated throughout the country including the then NWFP. A major agenda of the reform process was the introduction of uniform updated blood safety legislations. The Technical Cooperation component of the SBTP prepared a draft legislation after comprehensive national consultations. The draft legislation was shared with all provinces including the KP in 2015. The KP government accepted the draft and the Act was finally approved by the provincial legislature in 2016 titled ‘Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Blood Transfusion Authority Act No. XXV 2016’. Subsequently, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Blood Transfusion Authority (KPBTA) was notified under this Act. The inaugural meeting of the KPBTA was held in October 2017. The KP Secretary Health chaired the meeting as the Chairman of the Authority and decided to operationalize the BTA including notification of a CEO.
The new CEO of the KP BTA has been coordinating with the Islamabad Blood Transfusion Authority to initiate the BT regulation work in the province by utilizing the IBTA developed tools and documents. A partial mapping exercise has been conducted and 18 blood banks were identified in Peshawar city in addition to 19 DHQ hospital Blood Banks in the province. The primary focus of the KP BTA is to ensure minimum standards and quality services in the blood banks operating in the province. The BTA intends to follow a constructive non-punitive approach to strengthen the large public sector blood banks and to curb the commercial blood banking activity in the province.
The KP BTA has been receiving technical assistance from the IBTA. The IBTA conducted an orientation meeting of the blood transfusion experts of the province to enable them to perform the role of honorary Blood Bank Inspectors for KPBTA. The Authority then in collaboration with IBTA inspected the public and private sector blood banks in Peshawar and granted licenses to 17 blood banks in Peshawar city so far. The Authority plans to complete the first round of blood banks inspection in the rest of the province soon.
A total of 43 blood banks have been identified in KP as per the National Data Collection Report 2018. The total number of donations in 2018 in these blood banks was 267,640. Out of these 266,042 (98%) donations came from male donors and 1,598 (2%) donations from female donors. Family/replacement donations contributed 214,406 (80%) while the voluntary donations comprised 53,234 (20%). In 2018, 104,108 (39%) blood collections in KP were processed into at least three blood components, i.e. Red Cell Concentrates (RCC), Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP) and Platelet Concentrates while 163,532 (61%) blood collections were used as whole blood