By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

According to data from the Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority (SBTA), 5.28 percent of blood donors in the province were positive to one or more of the infectious diseases tested.

Blood donation
Image/ Waldszenen at the wikipedia project

Blood samples in Pakistan are screened for five infectious diseases — HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, and malaria.

Of the 455,742 blood samples tested in the province, around 24,088, or 5.28% were found reactive or infected with one or more of the five different diseases.

With a further breakdown, 1,357 donors were positive for HIV (0.29%), while 8,155 or 1.79% of blood donors were positive for hepatitis B and 7,995 or 1.75% were infected with hepatitis C.

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6,142 donors were positive for syphilis and 448 for malaria.

While the numbers are high, one expert says they are “grossly underestimated”. According to Prof Rafiq Khanani, a senior pathologist and president of the Infection Control Society of Pakistan, “This data is grossly underestimated mainly due to the fact that most blood banks and healthcare facilities in Pakistan lacked the facility of nucleic acid test (NAT) that has 99 per cent accuracy.”

“Having said that, these figures are still staggering as identified cases involved people who had no idea that they were infected and opted for screening only because they wanted to donate their blood.”