A ‘bloody’ battle is going on between the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) and the District AIDS Prevention and Control unit here over supply of blood collection bags and test kits needed for the blood bank.

The GRH Blood Bank here is able to find a good number of voluntary donors. But, it has been struggling to get the collection bags despite placing indents with the district office of the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS).

Documents provided to The Hindu on Thursday reveal that the GRH is depending on hospitals in other places for blood bags/ mandatory test kits required to screen the donor for HIV, malaria, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

In the last eight months, the blood bank had to knock the doors of Government hospitals in Theni, Tiruchi, Tirunelveli, Erode, Rajapalayam, Virudhunagar, Salem, Vellore and Usilampatti requesting them to provide the bags and HIV test kits. On many occasions, the blood bank had to go for local purchase through medical stores from the Dean’s fund.

Due to interrupted supply, the GRH Blood Bank had on its own purchased 6,500 Rapid Plasma Reagin kits through the hospital’s medical store from March 3 to June 26. Another 8,500 RPR kits were procured from other places from October 20 last year to March 28 this year.

However, the District Project Manager of Madurai District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit M. Kalirajan says that the delay in providing blood bags and kits was because the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) had stopped supply. “It is NACO which supplies the materials and the role of TANSACS is only to supervise the distribution. Still, we try to help the GRH by diverting the excess bags from other places,” he said. The anxiety on the part of GRH Blood Bank to have adequate stock of bags is understandable from the blood donation statistics. The blood collection rose to 16,134 units in year 2011. During 2012, the Bank crossed the 20,000-unit mark.

This year, from January to June 2013, already 117 camps were conducted and 10,010 units of blood were collected.