Blood banks full, but govt asks mandals to stock up

Sep 17, 2012, 07:21 IST | Naveen Nair

With health department urging mandals to hold donation camps, Maharashtra State Blood Transfusion Council claims govt's move is merely to tackle dry months ahead

There will be no shortage of blood at the blood banks in the coming months if the call for donation camps is successful this Ganeshotsav. The festival is celebrated with much fanfare in the state and the government is requesting mandals to conduct blood donation camps as an opportunity to increase stock of blood units.

Representation pic

However, officials of the Maharashtra State Blood Transfusion Council (MBTC) claim that there is no shortage at blood banks currently, and that the state government’s request is actually in preparation for the usual scarcity during the months of October and November.

Statistics provided by the MBTC reveal that the state has a total of 280 blood banks and 78 regional centres.

The statistics show that like every year, the collection rate of blood units through blood donation camps is stable and is on the rise. Until the month of August, total units of blood collected stood at 8,73,636 units through donation camps across the state. If one per cent of the total population regularly donated blood, then there won’t be any shortage at blood banks and currently, the rate of donors is 1.1 per cent of the population.

Dr Sanjay Jadhav, assistant director, MTBC said, “Blood banks around the city have sufficient stock of blood units to meet the requirement and there is no scarcity. The request made by the state health department to mandals to conduct blood donation camps is actually to prepare us to overcome the usual scarcity we face during the months of October and November.”

He added that every year during these two months, a large section of the population goes on leave to their native places, which causes a fall in the number of donors in the city. “If mandals create awareness among the lakhs of devotes who gather during the Ganeshotsav, we can conduct successful blood donation camps in the coming months,” Jadhav said.

Meanwhile, the major mandals in the city claim to be too busy with preparations and would not be able to conduct blood donation camps as a result.

‘Too busy’
Raju Lanjwad, treasurer, Lalbaugcha Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, said, “We are not in a condition to conduct any blood donation camps this year as we are very busy with Ganeshotsav preparations.

We regularly conduct dialysis and other medical camps every year and we did so this year as well. Apart from this, our mandal has not made any decisions to conduct a blood donation camp.” Swapnil Parab, secretary, Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, Ganesh Galli, said, “We have been conducting blood donation camps for the past 15 years.

Every year around 1,000 to 1,200 donors donate blood at our camps. This year we are conducting a blood donation camp on December 9. We are currently busy with preparations for Ganeshotsav and in the following month, we will get busy with Navratri preparations. Hence, we can’t hold blood donation camps during these months.”

Uday Salian, spokesperson for the Azad Nagar Ganesh Utsav Mandal, said, “As per the request from the state health department, our mandal has decided to conduct a blood donation camp on September 26. The camp will be held for the entire day and we will deposit the blood units at Matoshree blood bank.” 

Number of days blood can be preserved at blood banks before being rendered useless. 

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