Blood supply improves, but India still faces a shortfall of 10 per cent

Data show that 16 States (including Union Territories) faced a shortage while 18 States had sufficient or excess of blood units.

India faced a 10 per cent shortage in its estimated blood requirement in 2015-16, an improvement from the 17 per cent shortfall reported in 2013-14, government data says. The estimated requirement is around 1.2 crore units per annum.

In 2015-16, blood collection through various sources, including blood donation camps, was 1.1 crore units — a shortage of 11.5 lakh units, according to data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The availability of blood is also sharply skewed. While Delhi had a surplus of 233 per cent in available blood units, Bihar faced an 85 per cent shortage — the State had just 1.6 lakh units available against a demand of 10.3 lakh units per annum — the Ministry said in response to a question in Parliament.

Data show that 16 States (including Union Territories) faced a shortage while 18 States had sufficient or excess of blood units.

However, the availability of blood units had improved from 2013-14 when a shortage of 17 per cent was recorded. The shortage was 21 lakh units in 2013-14.

Sikkim, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttaranchal and West Bengal moved from a deficit in 2013-14 to a surplus in 2015-16. For instance, Sikkim had a 19 per cent shortage in 2013-14. However, in 2015-16, blood unit availability improved by around 22 percentage points, with a surplus of 2.6 per cent.

Among the large States, Maharashtra (46 per cent), Punjab (39 per cent) and Kerala (35 per cent) had the highest proportion of excess blood units.

At the other extreme, in addition to Bihar, four other States — Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Meghalaya — had a shortage of greater than 50 per cent. Jammu and Kashmir reduced its blood deficit by 53 percentage points — the highest among large States — down from 85 per cent shortage in 2013-14 to 32 per cent in 2015-16.

Blood banks needed

In response to a Parliament question earlier this year, the Health Ministry noted there was no shortage of blood banks in India. As of February 2015, there were 2,708 — 1024 public and 1684 private — blood banks in the country. However, 81 districts spread across 17 States did not have a blood bank.

A large number of these districts are new and recently created.

Under the National Health Mission, for 2015-16, proposals were received from Madhya Pradesh and Assam, requesting support for 11 new blood banks, for which approval had been accorded.

“Under the National AIDS Control Programme-IV, the government is strengthening the programme for blood transfusion services with efforts directed towards the promotion of voluntary, non-remunerative blood donation in partnership with NGOs and voluntary organizations,” the Ministry said.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 2:36:16 PM |

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