Health Ministry organises Voluntary Blood Donation Camp to mark National Voluntary Blood Donation Day

New Delhi : Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary along with Dr. Sunil Kumar, Director General of Health Services inaugurated a Voluntary Blood Donation Camp at Nirman Bhawan on the occasion of National Voluntary Blood Donation Day today.

The Blood donation camp in Nirman Bhawanorganized by Directorate General of Health services under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was followed by a technical seminar on the subject.

National Voluntary Blood Donation Day is celebrated on 1st October of every year across the country to raise awareness about Blood donation and promote voluntary Blood donation in the country. On this occasion various Govt and non-govt organizations organize Blood donation camps and other awareness activities across the country to celebrate the day. The theme for this year’s Blood donation event is “Give Blood and keep the world beating”.

The Union Health Secretary made an earnest appeal to all to come forward in large numbers and donate blood for a noble cause and also motivate their friends, relatives and colleagues to doso. He underscored the importance of non-remunerative blood donation motivated by altruism alone.

All the staff present pledged to donate their blood to those in need. The oath was administered by the Union Health Secretary.

Blood is the most essential component of body and timely transfusion can save lacs of lives every year specially for Injury cases, children suffering from Blood disorders eg. Thalassemia, Sickle cell Anaemia etc. Our country needs approximately 1.45 crore units of blood every year. Collection of blood is done through 3500 licensed blood banks in the country.

About three decades back, a large percentage of blood collected was through professional donors which comprised among others high risk group population like Commercial Sex Workers, Transgenders, Men having sex with Men and Intravenous Drug Users. The inclusion of such vulnerable category for the motive of monetary gain led to spread of Blood transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C etc in the entire community. The landmark Supreme court judgement in 1996 banned the professional blood donation in the country and that was a game changer and more and more voluntary and replacement donations came into being. The National Blood Policy developed by Ministry of Health and welfare in 2002 recommended that the practice of even replacement donors shall be gradually phased out in a time bound manner to achieve 100% voluntary non-remunerated blood donation.

The Ministry has made mandatory testing of each unit of blood collected for five transfusion transmissible infections (TTI) viz. HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis and Malaria using high quality testing methodology. Because of these measures, there has been a sharp decline in the Blood transmitted infections. At the moment India is able to collect only 70% blood through Voluntary blood donation and the rest 30% is through replacement donation which calls for greater awareness generation among the common public.