India to set up world class blood banks in 600 districts

The Government of India has announced that it would set up state of the art blood banks in 600 districts across the country and a model blood bank in all the states within next two to three years. Announcing this, India’s Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss also said that the government will set up Centers of Excellence in all the four metros at a cost of INR 25 crore each to support the regional requirements of testing and storage of blood. Ramadoss also announced that the government will establish a plasma fractioning unit with a capacity of 150,000 litres of blood every year. He was speaking at the National Conference on Safe Blood, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Informing that India has reduced HIV/AIDS infection caused by blood transfusion to two per cent and that the government has set a target of 0.5 per cent, the Minister said that the government also plans to set up National Blood Authority to promote and regulate the process of donations, transfusions and policies regarding blood.  To implement the National Rural Health Mission with a budgetary allocation of INR 15,800 crore which is the largest initiative by the government of India on health sector, Ramadoss suggested that the government needs the support of private companies to implement the mission. Stressing on the collective effort for the ‘safe’ blood initiative, he further said that the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) is supporting the public blood banks and has commenced a nationwide movement to promote donation of safe blood. Mentioning that the challenges to access of safe blood are commitment, will of the donors and availability of infrastructure, Member of Parliament  Deepender Hooda said that government should ensure donor specific policies and motivate people to come forward for multiple blood donation. In a panel session on ‘National Blood Policy: Gaps and Challenges’, NACO National Programme Officer

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