Prelims level : Governance - Policies Mains level : GS-II Government policies and interventions for Development in Various Sectors and Issues Arising out of their Design and Implementation.
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Why in News?

  • Due to Covid-19 lockdown hospitals across India are facing acute shortage of blood and have started contacting Individual Blood Donors to meet the Demand.

Key Points:

  • The Indian Red Cross Society Blood Bank has noted that there is a drop in blood collection.
  • The crisis is such that there is a shortage of the most commonly seen B-positive blood group.
  • Hospitals are calling listed donors and those with rare blood groups to come in and donate.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation, blood requirement of 1% of a country’s population be used as an estimate of its blood needs. By this measure, India was short of 1.9 million units of blood as per data presented.

Who are the Worst Hit?

  • Patients requiring dialysis, having blood disorders, and pregnant women are the worst hit due to blood shortage.
  • Thalassemia patients need repeated blood transfusions to survive. Many thalassemics take blood for their transfusions from the Indian Red Cross Society Blood Bank, whose camps are being cancelled.

Why there is a Shortage?

  • Due to lockdown blood banks collection camps are cancelled.
  • Donors are hesitant to travel to hospitals to donate blood amid strict lockdown.
  • Transportation is also an major issue since it has been almost closed due to lockdown.
  • Non-issual  of donor passes by some hospitals adds to the woe.

Interventions taken by the Government:

  • The Health Ministry has asked hospitals to start working on ensuring sufficient stock of blood for transfusion by promoting voluntary blood donors and utilising various services like mobile blood collection vans with the help of the Indian Red Cross Society.
  • It has asked the Indian Red Cross Society to send mobile blood collection vans to the premises of regular blood donors to facilitate them for blood donation.

About Indian Red Cross Society:

  • The Indian Red Cross is a voluntary humanitarian organization providing relief in times of disasters/emergencies and promotes health & care of the vulnerable people and communities.
  • Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) was established in 1920 under the Indian Red Cross Society Act.
  • The President of India is the President and the Union Health Minister is the Chairman of the Society.
  • The Mission of the Indian Red Cross is to inspire, encourage and initiate at all times all forms of humanitarian activities so that human suffering can be minimized and even prevented and thus contribute to creating more congenial climate for peace.
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