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Monday, June 20, 2011

“Donate Blood Regularly on a Voluntary Basis”: Azad

The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad has called upon the young people to get recruited at the nearest blood bank as voluntary blood donors. Shri Azad was addressing the gathering at the felicitation function at Indian Red Cross Society today at the end of the World Donors’ Week. Shri Azad gave away mementoes to regular blood donors some of whom have donated blood even more than 80 times. He said it is vital that we ensure that anyone, anywhere who needs blood gets safe blood promptly, particularly the mothers and children under our ambitious safe motherhood and infant scheme – Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram. The Minister said “Due to our massive population of 1.2 billion, we require 12 million units of blood annually. Ideally, if only 1% of the total eligible population donates blood every year there would be no shortage of blood. However, at present, there is an annual shortage of about 2 million units”. To reduce this gap between demand and availability of safe blood, we plan to have a programme to create awareness amongst the general public so that the community understands the advantages of regular blood donation, the Minister added.
World Blood Donors day (14th June) was initiated in 2004 by World Health Organization in collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations and the International Society of Blood Transfusion to thank all the Voluntary Blood Donors, who are the lifeline of a community. The World Blood Donors Day celebrates their altruistic gift and thanks the unsung heroes for their priceless contribution. The theme for World Blood Donors Day 2011 was, “More blood, More life”. This year the Indian Red Cross Society commemorated the day by a week long programme, which started on 14th June 2011. This one week long programme was conducted in all States / district branches of Indian Red Cross Society in the country.
The IRCS is running 140 blood banks across 40 states. The IRCS Blood Bank supplies blood to about 900 thalassaemic patients free of service charges, which is approx. 50% of total thalassaemic patients in Delhi. In addition, blood is also supplied free of charge to the patients admitted in the Government hospitals.
PIB Release, June 14, 2011

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