Data consultant launches website to ease plasma donation process

A man donating plasma.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

In the second week of April, a 26-year-old data consultant who has thousands of followers on social media, decided to put the influence to good use and teamed up with a friend to create a website that brings together plasma donors for COVID-19 patients and help the needy.

Divya Jain, who had been amplifying requirements of oxygen and plasma on social media, roped in a tech-savvy friend and created the website after buying a domain. “I was getting a lot of requests for oxygen, plasma, hospital and medicines and I thought I have a good social media presence so should put it to good use. I thought of doing it on small scale but then it grew to a seven-member team,” she said, adding that all the members are her colleagues and friends.

The team now has Rikit Shahi from Hyderabad, Himanshu Pandit from Indore, Ayushi Saxena from Gwalior, Amit Pundir, Savita Bisht and Padmini from Delhi. All of them operate from their homes and attend to the needs of their respective cities and nearby places.

Two types

Explaining the process, Ms. Jain said two types of people can use this website – those who can donate plasma and those who require it. “As soon as we get the information on plasma donation and that of plasma request, we call and verify the information and try to close the requirement within 12-24 hours,” she said.

Currently, this group has nearly 2,000 donors out of which they have made 1,500 people meet the patients. “We send at least two donors to a patient and there is no guarantee that it’ll work out but we do the needful from our end,” she said.

Ground realities

Among the issues they faced on the ground, Ms. Jain said more people are coming forward to donate plasma in Maharashtra as compared to Delhi. The biggest reason for their reluctance is that people are scared to visit hospitals due to the situation. “We try and convince them to go to plasma bank instead of the hospitals,” she said.

Another hassle for the donors, she said, is that because of the lockdown, people can’t travel. But patients’ families pitch in as it is their requirement. “The third biggest problem is the misconception that women can’t donate. Hospitals tell patients’ families that they won’t accept women donors because their HB is low, which further makes them think that women donors are not accepted. We have to then force them to speak to doctors. So many women have successfully donated,” she said.

Some hospitals, she said, are putting strict rules that only those who have recovered before 28 days or more can donate. “This is another misconception because there are donors who have recovered 20 days ago and their anti-bodies have developed,” she said.

Talking about why he joined the initiative, Rikit from Hyderabad, a law student, who has been providing essentials at doorsteps of COVID-19 patients, said he lost his grandmother in 2012 in Gorakhpur due to “lack of healthcare”. “I have been active in social work since last year when the migrant crisis began and have been working to help people since,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 6:20:16 AM |

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