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Millennium Post

Elections hit blood donation camps

KOLKATA: The blood donation camps across the state have been adversely hit because of elections leading to a crisis in various blood banks.

The amount of blood collection normally dips during the summer but the ensued Assembly elections have further intensified the crisis as the number of camps has gone down. The camps which are being held in various parts of the state are now witnessing a very low turnout of donors. Over 45 per cent of overall collection of blood is contributed by the various political organisations. During the election time almost all the political parties, their cadres and the entire machinery of the organisations are busy in election campaigns. Consequently, the blood donation camps are badly hit. Covid inoculation drive restricts a vaccine receiver from donating blood for two month. This has an adverse effect on the collection of blood as well.

Various clubs also organise camps but during elections most of the clubs fail to hold camps as they have some political affiliation and therefore busy in election process. "During summer time, a crisis in blood supply is witnessed every year. Election season further aggravates the situation. All the district health officials have been directed to spread awareness in this regard," a senior health official said.

According to sources, there is a demand of 4,000 unit blood in the state per day. Now, around 1100-1200 units are collected per day. There is a requirement of around 15 lakh unit per year whereas around 13 lakh unit is collected. The figure further goes down during summer. Around 6-7 years ago, 30,000 unit of blood had been collected at the Central blood bank. In the past 2-3 years, the number has dropped to 20,000-25,000.

"Around 10 percent of overall blood camps are now taking place in the state. The number of donors is very poor. On an average, each camp sees around 50 donors but the number has dropped 15-20 now during the election time. There is a complete crisis of negative blood groups," said D. Ashish, General Secretary, Medical Bank.

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