Staff Reporter

“16,000 units of blood can be collected from eligible persons”

MADURAI: The Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) Blood Bank has planned to promote donation by motivating the public to donate blood on their birthdays.

Talking to The Hindu, the Medical Officer of the GRH Blood Bank, V. Velusamy, said that the programme was all set to take off through an intensive campaign to create awareness among the public of blood donation.

“At present, the city’s population is roughly around 12 lakh, of which more than 7.8 lakh fall in the age group of 18 and 60 years. Even if 2 per cent among this eligible group is motivated, the hospital blood bank can get anywhere in the range of 16,000 units of blood, which will be more than sufficient to meet out the hospital requirement of 15,000 units per annum,” said Dr. Velusamy.

According to 2006 statistics, the GRH blood bank had conducted 168 camps, which meant that it had been conducting camps every alternative day. Increasing the number of camps would result in shortage of staff in the hospital. Hence, voluntary donation would be promoted in a huge way, he said.

This programme was planned to cater to the emergency need for blood in summer vacation and winter holidays, as the blood bank faced shortage of supply due to closure of educational institutions.

As contribution by college students constituted 85 per cent of the total blood received by the bank, their role could not be dispensed with.The blood bank had already contacted several voluntary organisations and residents’ welfare association in various parts of the city for this programme to fulfil the requirements during summer and winter holidays, said Dr. Velusamy.

The blood bank has a list of 5,000 regular donors who will chip in at times of emergency. They also donate blood once in three months.

Dr. Velusamy wanted the Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University and principals of colleges to consider the plan, which was mooted last year, to send two students from each college to donate blood every day at GRH, for which the educational institutions could give attendance for the day as a token of appreciation.