KUALA LUMPUR: Three more laboratories providing nucleic acid testing (NAT) will be built by the Health Ministry (KKM) by the end of the year, bringing a total of four NAT laboratories nationwide including the existing one at National Blood Centre (PDN).
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said three additional NAT laboratories are in line with the efforts of the government to raise the quality and safety of blood supplied to patients.
NAT tests, he said would assist in checking for HIV, HBV (Hepatitis B) and HCV (Hepatitic C) at the initial level by detecting the presence of DNA/RNA viruses and stop the spread of such viruses through blood transfusions.
“The three NAT laboratories will be built at Alor Star Hospital, in Sabah and in Sarawak, to ensure the blood of donors is screened using NAT method to raise the level of safety and quality of blood supplied nationwide,“ he added.
He told reporters after opening the national level World Blood Donor Day at the National Blood Centre here today, which was attended by Health Ministry (KKM) secretary-general, Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min and National Blood Centre director Dr Noryati Abu Amin.
In this regard, Dzulkefly said to ensure the process of donation, blood processing and usage of blood at hospital are safe, PDN has developed a system known as the Blood Bank Information System Version 2 (BBISV2).
“With the BBISV2 system, information, communication and technology (ICT) in transfusion services would be improved and ensure the quality of transfusion of KKM on the overall,” he said.
The six hospitals which have implemented the system are Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, Klang, Selangor, Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital, Kuantan, Pahang, Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Sultan Ahmad Shah Hospital, Temerloh, Pahang, Sultanah Aminah Hospital, Johor Bahru, and Batu Pahat Hospital, Johor. - Bernama