Blood banks facing shortage due to pandemic

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Aug 3: Since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, the functioning of the blood banks in the Itanagar capital region (ICR) has been badly affected as many people did not want to donate blood out of fear of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Currently, the blood banks of the TRIHMS and the RKMH are depending on voluntary blood donations by individuals and organizations.

A senior doctor at the RKMH here informed that the supply of blood is low, whereas its demand is usually high.

“Supply of blood has always been low, but due to the current situation due to Covid-19, lesser numbers of people are coming to the hospital to donate blood. We usually depend on the patients’ relatives,” added the doctor.

Arunachal Voluntary Blood Donors Organization (AVBDO) chairman Ramesh Jeke, who has been engaged in conducting voluntary blood donation camps in the ICR since the beginning of the lockdown in March, also expressed concern over the low supply of blood in the blood banks.

“Every day 30 to 35 blood transfusions are done at the RKMH. However, we are able to collect only 5 to 10 units, sometimes 20 units of blood at the most, during our camps on a single day. We face much difficulty nowadays because very few donors are participating due to the pandemic,” he said.

The voluntary blood donation camps organized by the AVBDO in the last four months have resulted in collection of a total of 1,682 units of blood.

“We make sure that the blood banks in the hospitals do not run out of lifesaving blood. The blood collected during the camps is supplied from the RKMH blood bank to the TRIHMS blood bank and other hospitals in the capital, including Heema, Niba, Hormin and BTM,” Jeke said, adding that demand for blood is on the rise, especially during the summer, when more people get sick.

“Also, the TRIHMS is presently not carrying out dialysis for kidney patients, and all patients have been shifted to the RKMH. They are dependent on the RKMH and every day the demand is increasing. There are also many pregnant women who are in need of blood,” he said, and appealed to the people to come forward to donate blood.

Jeke informed that AVBDO members are always present at the RKMH and anybody can visit the hospital’s blood bank between 10 am and 2 pm to donate blood.

Jeke can be contacted at 82580 30741 or 82580 11533.

In East Siang HQ Pasighat also, blood donation camps have been organized by the voluntary blood donation organization AYANG, led by Aini Taloh.

She along with her son has also been regularly donating blood, despite the pandemic, at the BPGH, Pasighat.

Taloh can be contacted in Pasighat at 84148 33860. One can also contact her son, Biling Taloh at 80144 9085.