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Rehab of paraplegics delays construction of metro blood bank

The World Bank-funded project was named Centre of Excellence for Transfusion Medicine.

Written by Ananya Banerjee |
October 9, 2012 2:10:35 am

The World Bank-funded project was named Centre of Excellence for Transfusion Medicine

More than a year after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation gave the final nod for the Rs 340 crore project of the Metro Blood Bank in the city,construction work is yet to begin. Rehabilitation has proved to be a major concern as the Paraplegic Foundation on the barracks premises of the Sion Hospital where the blood bank is to be built,is yet to receive a formal notification of the area where they will be shifted to.

“There have been many discussions with the dean of Sion Hospital,and we were even shown a few areas where we could possibly be shifted but nothing concrete has been decided yet. We have demanded that the new place have the same area as the current one and it should be on the ground floor,considering physical condition of the patients. The dean has assured us that our demands will be met,” said an official of the Paraplegic Foundation.

Members of the Foundation were initially opposed to the construction of the blood bank on the Sion Hospital premises for fear of being displaced.

The NGO currently has 25 paraplegic patients admitted with them in addition to a training centre with around 30 physically challenged persons. “Now,that the Centre has instructed for the construction to take place,we have no choice but to shift. However,the rehabilitation of the paraplegic patients have to be kept in mind. The patients need space to do physiotherapy and other activities,and these things cannot be ignored while providing an alternative space,” the official said.

The World Bank-funded project was named as the Centre of Excellence for Transfusion Medicine (COE) and was to be facilitated by the Maharashtra District AIDS Control Society (MDACS),the local branch of National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).

The COE will be a state-of-the-art centre with a capacity to store up to 1 lakh units of blood. Among other facilities,the centre will have a nucleic acid testing facility,biotechnology lab,cord banking and stem cell facilities.

A few months ago,the parliamentary standing committee on health had pulled up the National AIDS Control Organisation for failing to make progress in establishing the metro blood banks at New Delhi,Mumbai,Chennai and Kolkata.

Former dean of Sion Hospital,Dr Sandhya Kamat,however,said the construction work will begin soon.

“All the inspections and necessary approvals have been made. The work should begin in a month,” Kamat said.

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