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24 Apr 2024, Edition - 3207, Wednesday

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India News

Give blood, share life: One day of celebration is not enough to urge people to donate blood

Indrani Thakurata


When news report of Jawed Alam of Gopalganj breaking his Ramzan fast to donate blood to eight-year-old Punit Kumar, who is suffering from thalassemia went viral; a lot of us with dwindling faith in humanity found peace. “Punit, the son of Bhupendra Kumar, was rushed to Gopalganj sadar hospital after drop in haemoglobin. He required immediate blood transfusion, but the blood bank at the hospital did not have A+ blood that the boy needed. None of his family members had that blood group. A sweeper told Bhupendra to contact a blood donating society whose number was displayed on the hospital board,” said the news report in a national daily. Many of us with ailing parents have encountered similar situations where in, we had to run from pillar to post looking for blood and donors. It is particularly traumatic when the patient is critical and the blood centres are unable to help you. “Most of us go to donate only when we want blood. It is such a shame that a country with such a huge population of youngsters don’t donate that often. I am not in favour of one single day for as ‘World Blood Donor Day’, we should have this every 3 months,” says Dr Mukut.

A simple way of creating awareness on blood donation is to conduct camps for the same,and this is what most hospitals and organisations do from time to time. In 2016, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported a donation of 10.9 million units against a requirement of 12 million units. Blood donors in India donate around 350 millilitres of blood. The deficit can be attributed to the various apprehensions over donating blood. Every human body contains 5.50 litres of blood and a man can donate 350 ml blood without any difficulty. “The age limit is 65 years for blood donation while for platelet donation, the age limit is 60 years. Blood donation can be done once in three months, so we urge people to come and donate blood,” he adds.

Soumita Saha, who rose to prominence with her International Debut song Ishq says that “In the era of Social network fame when being a blood donor via Facebook has become a trend, I would rather prefer to be the old school and believe in blood donation in real. We might be oblivious to the fact that every two seconds, one unit of blood is required by people around the world. Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life”.

World Blood Donor Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO). The theme for this year’s World Blood Donor day was“Every few seconds someone, somewhere needs blood. Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life.” which focuses on blood donation in emergency situations. The World Health Organization chose the this theme out of solidarity to highlight the fundamental values of altruism, respect, empathy and kindness which underline and sustain voluntary unpaid blood donation systems. The goal is to draw attention to the roles that voluntary donation systems play in encouraging people to care for one another and generate social ties and a united community.

She emphasises, “Blood is the most precious gift that someone can offer. A decision to donate your blood can save several lives. Just 20 minutes of your time and 250 ml blood can make a notable difference in someone’s life. If you are a blood donor, you are actually a hero to the person whose life you saved”.

There is constant need of regular blood supply around the World because the blood can be stored only for a limited time. Blood transfusion is an essential component of emergency health care. Emergencies increase the demand for blood transfusion and make its delivery challenging and complex. Adequate supply of blood during emergencies requires a well-organized blood service, and this can only be ensured by engaging the entire community and a blood donor population committed to voluntary unpaid blood donation throughout the year.

Regular blood donation by sufficient number of healthy donors is required to ensure sufficient supply blood 24×7. Women with complications of pregnancy such as ectopic pregnancies and hemorrhage during childbirth have immense need of blood. Even in cases of severe accidents people face instances of desperately requiring blood in order to save patient’s life.

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