On the eve of World Thalassemia Day which falls on May 7, school children will organise a programme on Saturday urging people to donate blood for those suffering from the disease.
The children will light up candles at the premises of Medical Bank in North Kolkata. The NGOs working with such patients will request the state government to make blood test of youth going to get married mandatory to prevent spread of the disease.
D Ashis, secretary of Medical Bank said there had been an acute shortage of blood in state and central run blood banks and also in private institutions. There are 69 state run blood banks with another 35 blood banks owned by private agencies and 16 are run by the Central government. The total requirement of blood in West Bengal is 10 lakh units, of which 7 lakh units are collected.
A senior official of state health department said because of election the blood donation camps could not be organised once the election code of conduct was promulgated. The excessive heat is also responsible for the fall in the collection of blood. He said with the six phase election coming to an end on Thursday it was expected that various clubs would start blood donation camps soon.
D Ashis said as no blood was given to patients without testing HIV and Hepatitis, the blood from donors could not be collected even during extreme emergency after sundown as there were no such arrangements either in the blood banks and state run hospitals.
He maintained that as there was acute shortage of blood, the state health department should have given billboards and insertion in newspapers urging people to donate blood. He said the worst hit were the Thalassemia patients mostly children who had been given blood quite frequently. He urged people to donate blood to save these people.