Undergraduate and diploma students taking medical laboratory technology (MLT) courses in various colleges found a novel way of protest on Thursday. They donated blood on World Blood Donors' Day while calling attention to a government norm that makes them unemployable at blood banks.
Members of the district unit of the Students' Association of Medical Laboratory Technology held placards against the government's proposals for a two-year Diploma in Blood Bank Technology (DBBT) that will make the students of B.Sc. (MLT) and DMLT unable to work in blood banks.
Such a course is presently available only in Sri Chithira Tirunal Institute of Medical Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, with only two seats, said Nikhil, a student of MLT under M.G. University. The protest was part of a State-wide programme planned by the students.
The Regional Association of Medical Laboratory Technologists (RAMT) said in a statement that the anomalies in the Paramedical Council Registration were the main cause of the problems. Students pursuing B.Sc. (MLT) and DMLT courses went on strike last year when the government proposed to start the new course and appoint only the students passing out from the course to blood banks.
Though the government stopped admission to the new course for a year, the appointments through PSC continue to make only DBBT students eligible for jobs in blood bank, said the statement by RAMT. The government, instead of providing employment opportunities to thousands of students pursuing the graduate and diploma MLT courses in various government and self-financing colleges, has created ambiguity in the validity of these courses by starting a parallel course of less duration, said the statement.
The undergraduate and diploma students said that their four year course has been condensed to make the two-year DBBT course.
Donors' day observed
World Blood Donors' Day was observed by various organisations in the city on Thursday for creating awareness and conducting blood donation camps.
The Corporation of Kochi, in association with the Indian Medical Association-Kochi, Kochi Health Mission and Y's Men's Club of Ernakulam Gold, held an awareness programme at St. Joachim's UP School, Kaloor, and a blood donation camp was held at the Muthoot Honda Service Centre, where 48 people donated blood.
Mayor Tony Chammany inaugurated the programme presided over by Gilbert Anjiparambil, president of Y's Men's Club. Antony Joseph, general secretary, Kochi Health Mission; Dr. Abraham Varghese, president IMA-Kochi; Dr. Pradeep Kumar, past president of IMA, were among those who spoke on the occasion.
Blood literacy awareness programme was held at the school.
The Y's Men also launched their programme to provide support to 10,000 people needing kidney donation and dialysis.
The Regional Blood Transfusion Centre conducted a blood donation camp at St. Xavier's College, Aluva, where 81 women donated blood. The camp was inaugurated by M.T. Jacob, chairman, Aluva Municipality.