Vardhan stresses need to create awareness about voluntary blood donation

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New Delhi, Mar 20 (PTI) Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Saturday underscored the need to create awareness amongst the general public to donate blood voluntarily, calling for reducing the gap between demand and availability of safe blood.

Speaking at the inauguration of a Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) Testing Facility at the Indian Red Cross Society's National Headquarters Blood Centre, he said educational programme should be so designed that the community understands the advantage of regular blood donation.

'The groups targeted for motivation would be educational institutions, Industrial Houses, socio-cultural organisations, religious groups, and government organisations. Mass media should be engaged for motivating the people and sensitising them towards their participation in the most effective way to mobilise voluntary blood donation,' he said.

Reminding everyone that the goal of securing 100 per cent voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors for a regular and safe supply of blood has not yet been achieved, he said, 'Countries that have efficient voluntary blood donor organisations are able to sustain a constant inflow of donors. Blood transfusion is a unique technology in that its collection, processing and use are scientifically based, but its availability depends on the extraordinary generosity of people who donate blood regularly as the most precious of gifts – the gift of life.' Describing how transfusion of blood is an essential part of modern health care management, he said in developed countries, 50 persons per 1000 people donate blood in a year. 'In our country, 8-10 persons donate blood per 1000 people in a year. India with a massive population of 1.38 billion requires just around 14 million units of blood annually. Ideally if 1 per cent of the total eligible population donates blood every year there would be no shortage of blood,' he said. PTI UZM TIR TIR