KARACHI:Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority (SBTA) sealed off 13 unauthorized blood banks across the Sindh province in 2020, while warnings have been issued to 30 registered blood banks over various irregularities.

According to SBTA’s credible sources, the authority teams had inspected and monitored a total of 293 blood banks in 2020 out which 13 were sealed that include seven in Ghotki, three in Rohri and three in Sukkur. Warnings were also issued to 30 registered blood banks including 14 in Karachi, 11 in Hyderabad, two in Khairpur, two in Mirpurkhas and one in Jamshoro.

Since the establishment of SBTA in the year 2004 till 2020, teams visited 402 blood banks out of which 165 were approved as registered blood banks (32 public, 82 private and 51 NGO). A total of 237 illegal and unauthorized blood banks have been closed so far out of which 34 were registered and 203 were substandard/illegal (14 public, 178 private and 45 NGO).

The SBTA also conducted sero-prevalence study for evaluating the prevalence rate of COVID-19 among donors coming to the regional blood centres last year. The SBTA also played an active role in the treatment of patients through convalescence plasma passive immunization therapy during the first phase of COVID-19 where the success rate was found to be around 74 percent.

In terms of robust communication, awareness measures were provided for voluntary non-remunerated donation of blood, convalescent plasma, social distancing practices and PPE utilization. There was also special emphasis on implementation of safety measures related to COIVD-19 in all the blood establishments of province.