GUWAHATI, June 18 � Although the trend of voluntary and non-remunerative blood donation is improving in Assam, there remains ample scope for more people to donate blood and thus save lives.
This was the point of agreement of several speakers who spoke on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day that was observed in the Dr B Borooah Cancer Institute Guwahati recently.
In the event organised by Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) and State Council on Blood Transfusion Assam, and Life Line Foundation, the Project Director of ASACS, M Hagjer Barman underlined the need to donate blood as people who donated blood were saving lives in the real sense.
She revealed that though efforts were on to motivate more people to donate blood, and there were signs of improvement in the last three years, the over all scene was not satisfactory. Compared to States like Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, voluntary blood donation in Assam continues to be disappointing.
�More motivation from the public, the blood banks, and other stakeholders is necessary for a rise in voluntary blood donation,� she remarked.
On attempts to improve the situation in Assam, she mentioned that plans are on to promote awareness about blood donation across all the districts of Assam, and in the first stage the focus would be in the districts of Upper Assam.
Narendra S Tishya, from ASACS in a lucid power point presentation revealed that compared to many smaller developing nations, India was lagging behind in the area of voluntary, non-remunerative blood donation. Safe and sustainable blood supply continued to be a challenge in many States of the country.
According to recent official data, only 1,60,925 people in Assam donated blood last year, which was about 0.52 per cent of the population who were capable of donating blood.
He pointed out that blood donation was advantageous to the donor on several counts, one of which was the screening of the blood at regular intervals.
He noted that World Blood Donor Day was an occasion to appreciate the role of donors and to spread awareness about the value of blood donation.
It may be mentioned that World Blood Donor Day is observed every year on June 14, which is the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the scientist who first identified blood types and later went on to win a Nobel Prize in 1930. Later, in the event, a number of individuals and groups who have regularly donated blood were felicitated and introduced to the gathering which included a number of eminent personalities from different walks of life.