The blood banks in Maharashtra have welcomed the state health ministry’s awareness drive to enhance voluntary blood donation as this, according to the ministry, will lead to a spurt in blood donation drives and replenish about 60% of Mumbai’s blood requirement.
The need for blood has increased with the starting of regular surgeries as a part of the unlocking process of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also a consistent requirement for blood in cases of thalassemia and cancer patients.
This is subsequent to a meeting between officials from the blood banks and State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) in Mumbai and Thane with Dr. Rajendra Shingane, Minister, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Maharashtra at the Mumbai headquarters of the Maharashtra FDA to discuss strategies for consistent supply of safe blood in the wake of reports of a shortage of blood in the state.
“This awareness drive will help manage the ever-rising demand for blood. We will be meeting with the health minister and other stakeholders shortly to further resolve these issues related to a consistent supply of blood,” Dr Abhijit Bopardikar, joint secretary, Federation of Bombay Blood Banks (FBBB).
In the meeting which was also attended by officials from the Maharashtra FDA, representatives of the blood banks presented their difficulties in the meeting saying that there are no large blood donation camps happening due to COVID-19 fear. People are afraid of another wave of COVID-19.
There is also a lack of cooperation in housing societies and colleges are closed. Besides this, employees of IT parks and other corporate offices are working from home. HDFC, Reliance, religious organizations, and other volunteers’ institutions do not have regular camps. This has an adverse effect on blood collections.
Based on the blood bank representative’s suggestions, Dr Shingane appealed to all the people from the government departments to donate blood. He also appealed to all political parties, NGOs, all departments of the government, district collectors, chief officers, tehsildars, civil surgeons, and political office bearers to cooperate in organizing blood donation camps on birthdays of political leaders as well as anniversaries and other similar events.
Even during the lockdown, the Chief Minister, Health and FDA Minister had from time to time appealed to the public for blood donation. FDA Minister assured that all would be informed at the government level as per their suggestions and every effort would be made for consistent availability of safe blood.