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Panel to streamline blood donation activities for steady supply

There is a scarcity of blood donors during the Diwali vacation and the district is set to face a shortage at a time when dengue is rearing its head. To tackle blood shortage and donation-related problems that are often faced during holiday-heavy months like November, March, April and May, the director of health services in the state has formed the District Voluntarily Blood Donation Committee.


Spread it out: Volunteers donate blood at a camp. Having a schedule for camps will ensure a regular flow of donated blood to banks, while today there is excess as well as shortage at different times of the year. File pic

According to various blood bank members, NGOs and civil hospitals, the problem of blood scarcity at various times crops up because there is no plan drawn up for voluntarily donation camps. The District Voluntarily Blood Donation Committee will coordinate donation efforts and chalk out a plan for blood donation camps so that adequate blood will be available throughout the year.

“According to the new developments, blood donation in the city or district should be 1.5 per cent of the total population; this was 1 per cent before,” Deputy Director, Health Services, Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society Dr Mohan Jadhav said. “If we consider the population of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, there must be a population of around 55 lakh. So there should be voluntarily blood donation of 1.5 lakh units. If we consider today’s condition, we are collecting only 70 per cent blood.”

RMO, District Hospital, Aundh, Vijay Kumar Powar said planning blood donation camps was the need of the hour. “Considering the total need and any natural calamity, there should be blood donation according to the National Blood Policy, which is 1.5 per cent of total population of the city or district,” Powar said. “But because of unplanned donation camps, we are suffering.”

Counterproductive
Dattaprasad Shinde, a consultant for voluntary blood donation, said mass blood donation camps were counterproductive as proper screening was often not done and a lot of blood was collected at one go instead of at staggered intervals. “Our society is facing a major problem of mass blood donation camps,” Shinde said.

“Many times representatives organise camps to gain fame, but because of this many times extra blood is collected and has to be sent to other cities. If they plan such activities, there will be adequate blood available all through the year. Also, in such camps, there is a problem when it comes to screening of donors for various diseases which spread through blood transfusion.”

No blood bank plans camps in advance, which ultimately results in scarcity of blood. The District Voluntarily Blood Donation Committee will ensure proper planning of blood donation camps according to the needs of the district. “Through this committee, we will approach various blood banks and citizens’ representatives to avoid mass blood donation camps,” Jadhav said. “We will also solve various problems faced by blood banks. There will be proper coordination with blood banks.”

Composition of committee
The committee will include the civil surgeon, the district medical officer from the District Hospital, the regional blood transfusion centre, the NACO-affiliated blood banks, a pathologist from the District Hospital, NGOs working in the field of blood donation, and members of Nehru Yuva Kendra and NSS from the University of Pune. 

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