Atal Dulloo inaugurates NAT-PCR at GMC

Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education department, Atal Dulloo, Friday inaugurated State-of-Art Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT-PCR) facility at Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar for safer quality blood transfusion funded under National Health Mission in J&K.

Mission Director, National Health Mission, J&K, Bhupinder Kumar; Principal GMC, Dr Samia Rashid; Head of Department Blood & Transfusion Medicine GMC, Dr Rubi Reshi; State Nodal Officer and NHM, Dr Muhammad Shafi Koka were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Dulloo said with the implementation of Nobel Prize winning NAT-PCR technology, the blood transfusion safety in JK will now be of international standards.

“This facility shall help in early detection of transfusion transmission infections like HIV, Hepatits-B and Hepatitis-C virus,” he said, adding the NAT testing facility has been funded by National Health Mission and all the blood donations in three major tertiary care hospitals –SMHS, Lal Ded and Bone & Joint Hospital shall be screened.

Kumar, Mission Director NHM, said that by adopting this technology as an integral part of blood transfusion services, safety of patients and wellbeing of the people shall be ensured by providing an additional layer of safety to blood recipients.

“The first such facility in J&K has already been inaugurated on June 14 at Government Medical College, Jammu ensuring the highest level of blood safety in the region,” he said.

Principal GMC Srinagar said NAT-PCR helps to detect the presence of life threatening viruses HIV, HBV and HCV that may be present in the blood donated in window period of the infection, and can be missed by conventional screening technologies which ensures additional safety to blood recipients.

There are many reports highlighting the incidence of Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTIs), especially in the patients receiving multiple transfusions in critical conditions like Thalassemia, cancer or cardiac surgeries, she said.

Dr Reshi, said blood donations screened with NAT PCR technology will reduce the risk of infection in three patients, as every unit of blood can be transfused to three people when separated into components.

Meanwhile, NAT-PCR, Plasma Bank was also inaugurated by the Financial Commissioner, on the occasion.

Dr Muhammad Shafi Koka, State Nodal Officer, NHM, J&K presented vote of thanks on the occasion.