World Blood Donor Day 2014: India Needs More Blood Donors
India has a population of 1.2 billion, and yet it regularly faces a blood shortage. Currently, health experts estimate that even if only an additional 2 percent donated blood, it could overcome the shortage of 3 million units.
Anju Verma, chief medical officer of Rotary Blood Banks told Times of India:
The shelf-life of donated blood is 35 to 42 days. There is a constant need to replenish stocks in our blood banks. The problem could be addressed if only two percent more Indians donated blood.
June 14th is World Blood Donors Day and this year’s theme is “Safe blood for saving mothers.” Safe blood means that the blood isn’t tainted and the mother can use it without risk. Here is their PSA Video:
Ideally, blood is checked for HIV, Hepatitis, and other blood transmitted diseases. This requires a trained medical team, proper education about procedure, and consistent testing of the blood. The National Aids Control Organization (NACO) publishes guidelines that all the authorized centers are supposed to follow.
Voluntary donors are scarce in India and it’s largely due to misinformation about who can donate and what the implications are. A majority of donors are family members, not individuals trying to help out. In India, you can get paid for donating blood and that segment makes up another huge portion of the donors. There is a dire need for healthy individuals to voluntarily donate blood. Reports suggest that merely 1% of people who can donate do so. Verma is calling all eligible donors:
Healthy donors are between the age of 18 to 65 years. So they should come out and donate blood.
Blood Assurance busts some common myths that keep people from donating. If you are afraid of donating, check out their website.
It is important that those who are eligible to donate take out a few spare minutes to do so. If five minutes of your time, can save someone years of their life, isn’t it worth it? It is also important to use the day to thank and appreciate all the donors who give a bit of themselves to help save lives. As the Indian Red Cross says:
Rakt dan maha dan
(Blood donation is the greatest donation)