A campaign to build ‘blood relation’

Several groups working to alleviate shortage in blood banks during summer

Philanthropic organisations in Odisha’s Berhampur have come together to motivate new groups of blood donors to reach the Red Cross blood bank in the city every alternate day during summer months to alleviate the shortage of blood during this period.

Most blood banks in Odisha, including the Red Cross blood bank on MKCG Medical College campus in Berhampur, face serious shortage during summer because of a misconception among the general public that blood donation during this period can cause extreme weakness.

“This myth has no scientific basis. Despite awareness efforts, people are still reluctant to donate blood during summer months,” said J. Suresh of Association of Voluntary Blood Donors. College examinations and holidays during summer also add to the problem, he said.

Joint campaign

Organisations like Berhampur Sabuja Bahini, Anchaika Bikash Parishad, Marwari Mahila Samity, Nature Lovers Odisha and Boxing Odisha have now launched a campaign to encourage blood donors to reach in groups to the blood bank. They have named their movement “Let us build a blood relation”.

“Our aim is to ensure standard stock of blood in the bank every day during summer months. We also want to remove the fear in the minds of several donors about donation in summer, and encourage them to visit the blood bank for donation instead of waiting for mega camps to be set up for the purpose,” said Sibaram Panigrahy of the BSB.

According to medical experts, a healthy man can donate blood once in three months and a healthy woman once in six months.

According to E.T. Rao, founder president of AVBD, Odisha, between June and February an average of 3,000 units of blood is collected every month by the Red Cross blood bank, Berhampur. During April and May, however, the collection drops to around 1,500 units. Blood donation camps also fail to collect required units of blood. Because of this, the blood bank faces problems in arranging blood for around 600 Thalassaemia and sickle cell patients who have to undergo transfusion at regular intervals.

The organisations have decided to motivate a new group of at least 20 donors every alternate day to visit the blood bank. On April 28, the number of donors rose to 29.

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