A health official said, “State AIDS Control Society, State Blood Transfusion Council and the Drug Controller – all the three institutions have defined their roles and responsibilities. However, there is an overlap of functions and a lack of coordination among them.”
While the state recorded an annual collection of 8,44,908 units last year, which is exceeding the basic requirement of blood according to the World Health Organisation’s one percent criteria in the State, problems arise due to the inequal distribution of blood banks across the state.
According to the Blood Transfusion Review, there is a huge disparity in the collection of blood between districts.
Stressing on the need for increased awareness, Dr Joy Mammen, Faculty in the Department of Immunohematology and Transfusion Medicine at Christian Medical College, Vellore, said, “Unless there is a systematic programme to increase awareness in the community to motivate and retain repeat voluntary blood donors, the system will always be at the mercy for ‘urgent requests for blood’.”
The availability of trained human resources is one of the key factors that affect the functioning of blood transfusion system, said a health official. “Trained staff are inadequate in proportion to the volume of collection, processing, component separation, and utilisation. Hence, it is important to conduct periodic training programmes to improve and assess their skills,” he stated.
It is this training that serves as a challenge, stated Dr Mammen.
The struggle in training for staff is a challenge, besides identifying and integrating appropriate technology, while keeping the cost down,” he added.
The Blood Transfusion Review stated that there is a huge disparity in the Ariyalur and Tiruvannamalai collected only 0.1 units of blood per 100 population followed by