PESHAWAR -- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police have set up a "Blood Donors Corner" to register the names of police officers and civilians willing to donate blood in the event of a terrorist attack or another major emergency.
"As many as 341 donors have already registered their names and contact details so they can be approached for blood donations in case of an emergency or other need," Waqar Ahmad, KP Police spokesman, told Pakistan Forward.
The purpose of the list is to ensure registered donors can provide immediate help whenever hospitals need blood.
"We have seen hundreds turning up at hospitals to donate their blood as a precaution for any unexpected major incident should it happen in Peshawar or another city," Ahmad said, adding that the list of donors registered with the police force will ensure blood donations are available even before volunteers arrive at hospitals.
"We already have all the contact details as well as the blood groups [of the registered donors], especially those with O-negative type, which is more needed," he explained.
The Blood Donors Corner supplements the police's regular blood donation drives, which support local hospitals and private organisations that provide blood to thousands of patients daily.
"We have 1,139 registered patients with thalassemia and other blood disorders who are receiving blood monthly or fortnightly," Ijaz Ali, managing director of the Hamza Foundation Welfare and Blood Transfusion Services in Peshawar, told Pakistan Forward.
Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder that can cause severe anaemia, bone problems and other symptoms treatable with regular blood transfusions.
About 40 to 50 thalassemia patients, mostly minors, receive blood transfusions from the Hamza Foundation, Ali noted.
"We hold regular blood camps to collect donations from students from different institutions as well as those from other walks of life to donate it to the public in case of emergency as well as to those suffering from blood disorders," he continued.
The Hamza Foundation has held blood donation camps along with the KP Police and National Highways and Motorway Police on several occasions, added Ali.
"A large number of senior and junior police officers regularly donate blood for these patients and during an emergency," he added.
In addition to the police officers, a large number of local residents participate in blood donation camps, according to Peshawar Capital City Police Officer Qazi Jamil ur Rehman.
"Hundreds of policemen from all over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of the country donated blood for poor patients during the first week of August," he told Pakistan Forward.
On August 4, the police force collects blood donations from officers yearly in connection with Martyrs Day to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives for the country.
"Besides, the police force and the public have always responded to the call for blood donations whenever it was needed in case of any terrorist attack or another emergency," Rehman said.
"I regularly donate blood to local organisations who arrange these donations for emergencies as well as for patients with various blood disorders," Altaf Ali, a student at a Peshawar-based private university that he did not identify, told Pakistan Forward.
Ali said he is going to register with the KP Police Blood Donors Corner so that the force can contact him whenever needed.
"This is the minimum one can do for his or her people and the country, and I am always ready for it," he added.