Bindu Shajan Perappadan

According to the National Aids Control Organisation’s report, blood donation in Delhi is a poor 29.3 per cent

‘The city has only a little over 50 blood banks’

‘Delhi suffers from seasonal or periodic shortages especially during the summers’

NEW DELHI: If you are a healthy, young Delhiite and not a regular blood donor you are contributing to the Capital’s abysmal voluntary blood donation record. According to the National Aids Control Organisation’s latest country-wide “Voluntary Blood Donation” report, voluntary blood donation in Delhi is a poor 29.3 per cent. Delhi shares space with States such as Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir and Bihar. Putting the Capital to shame are the States of West Bengal, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Gujarat and Mizoram where the voluntary blood donation is higher than 60 per cent. Why, even Goa, Karnataka, Assam, Sikkim and Andhra Pradesh have recorded blood donation between 40 to 60 per cent.

While the reluctant mindset of Delhiites towards blood donation is to be blamed for the poor show, “the problem with blood donation in the Capital also arises because the city has only a little over 50 blood banks of which a little less than half of them are government blood banks which can organise voluntary blood collection camps, charitable institutes including the Indian Red Cross Society also contributes to the voluntary blood donation, while private and stand-alone blood banks depend on blood replacements to keep up their blood stocks,” said Programme Officer (Blood Safety) at NACO Debasish Gupta.

He added that the Capital was self-sufficient in terms of blood supply and suffered from seasonal or periodic shortages especially during the summers and festival season around Diwali. “Over 50 per cent of India’s blood requirement is met through voluntary blood donation which we are working at increasing to 90 per cent by 2012,” added Dr. Gupta.

Understanding the constantly increasing need for blood across the country, the Indian Red Cross Society, which takes care of a bulk of the blood requirement across the country through its 110 blood banks across 14 States, plans to intensify its voluntary blood donation programme and reach out to young adults. “The Indian Red Cross’ blood bank in Delhi is also planning to upgrade and expand its unit into a `state of the art’ blood transfusion service and is aiming to have training facilities of the highest standards, as per national guidelines. It also proposes to expand its number of blood banks in all the States and district branches and also to start blood storage centres in cooperation with National Rural Health Mission,” said Indian Red Cross Society Blood Bank Director Vanshree Singh.

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