Roche Diagnostics India partners with Odisha Government to enable access to safe blood across the State

Bhubaneshwar: Roche Diagnostics India, market leader of the Indian in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry, today announced the launch of the first-ever ‘Roche NAT Solution’ in Odisha at VSS Institute of Medical Sciences & Research (VIMSAR) in Burla, Sambalpur. Shri. Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Hon. Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Odisha State Government inaugurated the Roche NAT Solution at Burla yesterday.
The Roche NAT or Nucleic acid testing (NAT) solution enables screening of donated blood, to reduce the risk of transfusion transmitted infections (TTIs) in people receiving blood. This is the first time that NAT technology is being introduced in the State of Odisha.
Roche Diagnostics India, through its association with the State Government shall be launching similar facilities at Bhubaneshwar, Behrampur and Cuttack shortly. The Centres at these cities screen donor blood units collected within the cities and from blood banks in nearby cities, as a model to extend blood safety to smaller cities of Odisha.
Dr. Sandeep Sewlikar, Head – Medical and Scientific Affairs of Roche Diagnostics India said, “World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that, in India there is a shortage of 3 million units of blood against the annual need of 12 million units. In such a shortage situation, the quality of blood being transfused generally is not the prime focus. However, if blood screening is not done with NAT technology or if the transfusion procedure is unsafe, life-saving blood can lead to life-threatening ‘transfusion transmitted infections’ (TTI), besides causing other serious adverse reactions. The issue of safe blood transfusion and stringent quality checks is a concern equally critical as shortage of blood, and needs to be addressed.”
WHO recommendations mandate high quality screening of all donated blood for infections, blood grouping and compatibility testing, to meet healthcare needs. As a screening technology, NAT has proven effective in detecting window period cases of viral infections.
It is reported that Odisha shows that such infections are increasingly prevalent in blood donors – from 0.04% in 2010 to 1.35% in 2015. With the high prevalence rate of TTIs in India, NAT’s role in enabling access to safe blood is significant.
Adds Dr Sewlikar, “With the introduction of the NAT technology in Odisha, in addition to people of the State getting access to safe blood, the economic health of the State is also maintained. The economy of Odisha is one the fastest growing state economies in India, with majority contributions to growth coming from agriculture, manufacturing, power and services, all of which are people-intensive sectors. Keeping people healthy is thus a pre-requisite for maintaining the economic health of the State.
The introduction of NAT will significantly reduce-TTI associated morbidity and mortality. Additionally, it will also have a positive health economic effect of reduction in State’s and personal expenditure on treatment and hospitalisation due to TTIs.”

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