Voluntary blood donation key to tackle blood scarcity: Health ministry

New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) Union Health Secretary B.P. Sharma on Tuesday said the scarcity of blood donors in the country could only be tackled if people voluntarily come forward to donate blood.

“The health ministry aims to collect blood for providing it to hospitals. However, this is not possible till the voluntary blood donors come forward to donate blood. During summers and especially in the dengue season there is a huge scarcity of blood,” Sharma said while inaugurating a day-long blood donation camp on the ministry’s premises here.

He said 39,000 units of blood are required every day in the country. “While there is a requirement of 130 lakh units of blood anually, the present collection provides only 90 lakh units.”

Sharma also met thallasemic children during the event in which 310 units of blood were collected till the evening.

The official said the National Health Mission (NHM) is trying to strengthen the district level blood centres so that First Referral Units (FRUs) get blood more efficiently.

“Small blood collection mobile units as well as transportation vans are given to states to mobilise for voluntary blood donation in remote areas. NHM is also catering to FRUs with sufficient manpower and equipment to run these centres 24×7,” he said.

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