Mega blood donation drive to celebrate PM Modi’s birthday

Updated on Sep 13, 2022 05:10 AM IST

The voluntary blood donation drive will go on till October 1, which is the national voluntary blood donation day.

September 17, last year, saw nearly 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered across the country— a single-day record that has not been matched yet. (PTI)
September 17, last year, saw nearly 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered across the country— a single-day record that has not been matched yet. (PTI)

On the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday on September 17, Union health ministry will start a mega drive for voluntary blood donation, and hopes to match the tremendous response that it received last year during a day-long special Covid vaccination drive held on his birthday, according to people familiar with the matter.

September 17, last year, saw nearly 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered across the country— a single-day record that has not been matched yet.

The voluntary blood donation drive will go on till October 1, which is the national voluntary blood donation day. The exercise will be called Raktdaan Amrit Mahotsav in line with the government’s series of activities planned under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

To facilitate the process, the health ministry has also launched E-Rakt Kosh portal where people willing to donate blood can formally register. The registration will begin from September 17 onwards.

Another option for donors to register is using the Arogya Setu App as the government has made changes to the app to include an option for donor registration. Also, people will get the option to know which is the nearest place they can go to, either to donate blood or to get blood.

According to the officials in the health ministry, India has a capacity of storing at least 1,50,000 units of blood in its close to 4000 blood banks spread across the country.

“For all you know we might create a world record as we saw last year on the same day. The current record mentioned in the Guinness Book is for collecting 80,000 units in a day,” said a senior government functionary aware of the matter, requesting anonymity.

Currently, voluntary blood donation is how most blood banks get their supplies but it is not enough to meet the country’s demand.

As per the government data for the year 2021, when Covid was at its peak, as opposed to the demand of 14.6 million units of blood, the blood banks managed 12.6 million units. One unit of blood is about 350ml and is capable of saving three lives, according to the experts.

“We are trying to motivate donors and create a database so that they can do repeat donations, and the need for replacement donors at the time of issuing blood units is done away with,” added the official.

Currently, several blood banks expect a replacement donor against issuing blood or blood components.

“The purpose behind the campaign launch is to increase awareness about the need for regular non - remunerated voluntary blood opportunities for social mobilization and social cohesiveness for the noble cause of blood donation. To ensure that blood/components (whole blood /packed red cells//plasma/platelets) are available, accessible, affordable and safe,” said the health ministry in a statement.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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