There are more than 2,000 patients in the State, and many of them are looking up to Vijayawada for their requirements once the State is divided

Every month, Srinivas Reddy, a private employee, travels over 400 km from Vizianagaram to Vijayawada to get blood transfusion done for his 14-month-old son Jaideep, who is suffering from Thalassemia.

If distance is a challenge, then getting a unit of blood for Jaideep, who has the rare AB+ blood group is even a bigger challenge.

Srinivas Reddy, who works at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, and his son have to camp in the city for a minimum of two days to get the right blood group. “I am bringing my son here because of the support offered to me by SAPTHA (Support and Awareness for People with Thalassemia) Foundation,” Mr. Reddy said.

SAPTHA chairman Sarat Babu said there was shortage of blood for Thalassemia patients. At least 150 units are required for as many as 85 patients, who come for blood transfusion to the city from as far as Vizianagaram district in the North and Prakasam district in the South, every month. Red Cross Blood Bank has been able to provide up to 50 units, and Lion’s Club Bank has been providing 10 units to Thalassemia victims. Patients have to literally beg for the remaining 90 units from private blood banks, Mr. Babu said. A lot of Thalassemia patients are now going to Hyderabad for blood transfusion. There are around 2,000 patients in the State, and half of them belong to the residuary Andhra Pradesh. The Thalassemia Helpline number is 9392096779.

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