Voluntary blood organisations have not received financial support from the Trinamool-led government to organise blood donation camps,leading to fears of a crisis in state-run blood banks.
Two of the state’s major organisations that provide blood to government-run blood banks West Bengal Blood Donors Forum and Association of Blood Donors Forum have reduced their blood donation camps after the Trinamool-led state government failed to provide monetary support.
For development of infrastructure and organising camps,the state government usually provides Rs 14 lakh and Rs 20 lakh annually in phases to these two organisations. However,no money has been forthcoming since the the new government came to power.
Officials of the blood organisations said they had written to the Chief Minister,but were yet to get a positive reply from her government.
Officials of the state blood transfusion council said there was acute shortage of blood in some state-run blood banks. At present,Calcutta’s Central Blood Bank has no stock of any negative group,sources said. There is shortage of some positive groups,too.
In 2011,1,200 blood donation camps were organised by the West Bengal Blood Donors Forum while the Association of Blood Donors Forum organised 500 camps.
In West Bengal,about 7.5 lakh units of blood are collected through donation camps,of which 70 per cent is collected by these two voluntary organisations.
North Bengal and Behrampore district hospitals are also facing a crisis. Mridumoy Das,the Blood Transfusion Council’s regional director,said the stocks in North Bengal Medical College and Hospital were “extremely low”. Usually,they supply 60 units of blood to hospitals. But for the past 10 days,they have not been able to supply more than 20 units a day. “So acute is the crisis that for every unit of blood taken,an equal amount has to be donated,” he added. At Behrampore district hospital,relatives of patients had to rush to private blood banks to arrange for blood.