Millennium Post

Patients in dire straits as blood banks go dry across Bengal owing to prolonged election schedule

Kolkata: The prolonged process of Lok Sabha elections has badly affected the blood donation camps across the state, leading to an acute crisis of blood in various blood banks.

The involvement of youths and various local clubs in political activities

has reduced the number of blood

donation camps in the state, since the notification of the Lok Sabha elections. The entire state is facing a severe blood crisis, putting thousands of lives in jeopardy.

The state government-run blood banks in the city are no exception as they are going dry as well due to inadequate supply of blood. Many relatives of patients have been denied blood despite having donor cards at the Central Blood bank in Manicktala and other state-owned blood banks.

According to sources in the Central Blood Bank, relatives of patients are being asked to arrange donors, as otherwise it would be difficult for the blood bank authorities to provide a steady supply of blood. Those unable to produce a donor are often returning with empty hands. The condition of other blood banks in the city is no different.

There is always a shortage of blood in the state during the summer season and the situation has been further aggravated due to the elections. It may be mentioned here that 60 percent of the total camps were organised or patronised by various political parties, while around 30 percent were arranged by various clubs and organisations.

As both the political parties and local clubs are busy with election campaigns, the number of blood donation camps has reduced drastically.

There are around 82 state government-owned blood banks across the state and 35 private blood banks, while 16 are managed by the Central agencies. There is an average demand of 15 lakh units of blood in the state every year, out of which around 11 lakh units are collected.

"The situation has been complicated as the inflow of blood has touched a new low. Due to prolonged elections, the number of camps has gone down," a senior official of a state-owned blood bank said.

It was also alleged that the 'Jeevan Shakti' mobile app that provides detailed information of the availability of blood in various blood banks, is not properly updated on a regular basis.

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