In a bid to minimise the burden on families of the Thalassemia patients,the Pune branch of the Indian Red Cross Society has come up with an initiative to provide facility of blood transfusion at a lower cost. The society will start a dedicated blood transfusion centre for Thalassemia patients at Dr N J Bandorewala health centre at Rasta Peth on February 4.
Elaborating on the initiative,honorary secretary of the societys city unit R V Kulkarni said,The centre will have a capacity of six beds where blood transfusions can be done on 12 patients a day as each transfusion requires nearly four hours.
There are around 500 registered Thalassemia patients in the city. Owing to lack of haemoglobin,they have to go for blood transfusion every 15 – 20 days. This process is costly as each transfusion costs around Rs 250 to Rs 400 depending on where it is done. This causes a major dent in the economic conditions of the patients families. As per our initiative,the cost of the blood transfusion will be around Rs 100 to Rs 150. For economically weaker families,we will provide the facility free of cost, said Kulkarni.
Kulkarni said the society has invested about Rs 40 lakh for the centre and are planning to invest another Rs 40 lakh in the next phase. Medical director of the society Dr V Ramanan said that the centre has all latest facilities required for blood transfusion. It will have the facilities to test haemoglobin count and blood storage. The centre will also counsel the families of the patients about how to take care of the patient and also have a Thalassemia testing facility for commoners, he said.
Kulkarni said that the society is also planning to propose the PMC on providing funds to the society so that they can visit colleges to conduct tests.
In Gujarat,where there is a sizable number of Thalassemia patients,a similar project is underway in colleges. The college students are tested for Thalassemia and if found positive treated accordingly. We are proposing the same but lack funds for the equipment, he said.