In order to streamline blood donation and ensure equitable distribution of resources, the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (Tansacs) has divided the 12 blocks of Coimbatore district and the Corporation areas among the four Government blood banks.
They have been tasked with coordinating all activities such as voluntary blood donation camps in their areas of responsibility and ensure the guidelines of National AIDS Control Organisation (Naco) and National Blood Transfusion Council were adhered to.
District Programme Manager (District AIDS Prevention Control Unit) B. Mohamed Ali told The Hindu that a meeting of all college, services organisations, industries, and other stake holders would be convened to draw up a plan for the year. Such meetings were likely to become an annual affair.
At present a majority of the blood donors, even those from far flung areas such as Pollachi and Mettupalayam, came only to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) despite blood banks being located in their areas itself.
There are four government blood banks in Coimbatore district, located at CMCH, Mettupalayam Government Hospital, Pollachi Government Hospital, and the ESI Hospital at Singanallur.
Now, the blood banks would begin to liaise with active blood donor groups in their locality and rationalise the process.
Dr. Mohamed Ali said that Coimbatore frequently exceeded the annual blood donation target, which was usually 1 per cent of the city’s population. Mostly, this was driven by the colleges where the Red Ribbon Clubs were active. During 2011-12, he said that Tamil Nadu had collected 7.11 lakh blood units through voluntary blood donation, made possible largely by the volunteers and district administrations. The Tansacs supported 85 blood banks in Government Hospitals across the State including ten in Chennai city. Private blood banks had a vital role in providing services such as screening, separating of the four components in the blood and safe storage as demand for blood had increased tremendously in recent days, according to A.K. Ravikumar, president Indian Medical Association, Coimbatore branch.
He said that the IMA Masonic Rotary Midtown Mahaveers Blood Bank in Coimbatore was the first to be started in Tamil Nadu by the association. The blood bank, which operated round-the-clock, was set up in December 2004.
On an average, the blood bank got around 300 units a month and provided between 250 units and 275 units a month.The association was taking efforts to start blood banks in all towns and cities to provide blood to the needy patients at affordable costs. Towards this, Dr. Ravikumar said that some Government concessions such as subsidies for blood bags, screening tests, chemicals, equipment, generator and power would help to reduce the charges for giving blood.