By MAITRI PORECHA
Blood is a crucial life-saver, however, up to 87 districts in India, have no blood banks. It is essential for each district in the country to have at least one blood bank. DNA accessed a list of 19 states comprising of 87 districts where no blood bank exists.
“Blood banks have never been built in these areas,” said a senior Health Ministry official. “Reasons behind the lack of blood banks in different districts vary,” he added.
Even the existing blood banks, some of them white elephants, are non-functional. Data reveals that of 1,050 public blood banks in India, only 74 per cent has basic functionality, and just 31 per cent has advanced blood separation component units.
Telangana, which tops the charts, does not have blood banks in 13 out of 31 districts. “It is a newly carved out state. The Centre and state are in the process of charting out construction plans,” said the official.
Next on the chart is Chattisgarh with as many as 11 out of 27 districts having no blood bank facilities. “Three new blood banks have been supported under the National Health Mission (NHM) in Surajpur, Jaspur and Jangger Chapa. It will take at least a year for their construction, and then some more for it to become functional,” said an official from NHM.
Nine of 20 districts in Arunachal Pradesh lack blood banks. Manipur and Jharkhand, with six districts each, do not have even one. In Uttar Pradesh, four districts have no blood banks, while in Nagaland, Uttaranchal, Tripura and Karnataka, it is three districts each that do not have the facility. Two districts in Sikkim are bereft, while Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Andaman Nicobar Islands have one district each.
It takes approximately Rs 40 lakhs to construct a blood bank and equip it with basic technology. Blood separation component units which are required in advanced blood bank set-ups cost Rs 30 – 40 lakhs more. “A state willing to take up construction writes to NHM for funds. After due scrutiny, funds are released by the Centre,” said the NHM official.
Central Government officials on their visit to Gaya district of Bihar or Mahoba district in Uttar Pradesh found the blood bank buildings were locked. “There is a lack of human resources. Some blood banks are locked because their licenses are pending for renewal. If the state does not comply to rules of running a blood bank, how will the license be renewed?,” said the official.
DISTRICTS WITH NO BLOOD BANKS
Telangana – 13
Chattisgarh – 11
Arunachal Pradesh – 9
Manipur & Jharkhand – 6 each
Bihar, Assam, J&K & Meghalaya – 5 each
Uttar Pradesh – 4
Nagaland, Uttaranchal, Tripura & Karnataka – 3 each
Sikkim – 2
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh & Andaman Nicobar Islands – 1 each
By MAITRI PORECHA