After conducting a first-of-its-kind screening camp for plasma donation in Dharavi on Thursday in which 47 people participated, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has identified 29 people who are eligible for plasma donation. Nine of these prospective donors who had recently recovered from Covid-19 will donate plasma on Saturday at civic-run hospitals.
The BMC on Thursday organised a first-of-its-kind screening camp for plasma donation in Dharavi, one of the hotspots of Covid-19 infection in the state. On the second day of the camp, blood samples of over 20 patients who have recovered were collected. The camp was set up at Kamraj School to encourage those who had contracted the virus and have since recovered to voluntarily donate their blood for screening.
The BMC on Saturday will arrange for transportation of the nine eligible donors. Recovered patients are screened for infectious diseases like HIV and Hepatitis and those testing negative are eligible to donate plasma. In addition, haemoglobin count, weight and comorbidities are also checked before patients are allowed to donate plasma.
Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of administrative G-North ward, (Mahim, Dharavi and Dadar), said, “The process of selection of the plasma donors is stringent. We have received positive response and willingness from people in Dharavi to donate plasma. We will continue with the camp for the next few days. Our target will be to get at least 100 eligible people for the donation.” In a bid to promote and attract more donors from across the city, the civic body also plans to give appreciation certificates to the donors.
As of Friday, 2,141 patients from Dharavi have recovered and over 400 have expressed their willingness to donate plasma. The therapy involves injecting plasma from recovered patients into infected patients to improve antibody response in the latter against the virus. The plasmapheresis process takes 30 minutes. The patient’s blood goes into a machine, which separates plasma and redirects remaining blood back into the donor’s body. Each donor can donate 400 ml to 500 ml of plasma, which can help two patients.
Meanwhile, the civic body on Friday began rapid antigen tests for frontline workers, including police officers, solid waste management staff, medicos and volunteers. The jumbo antigen testing drive is set up across 24 administrative wards in the city.
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