Blood collection vans for high-priority dists launched

Blood collection vans for high-priority dists launched

The vans were officially flagged off by Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shivananda S Patil here on Monday is likely to address the shortage of blood. (DH Photo)

Five blood collection and distribution vans with a capacity of two donors at a time are being flagged off in Karnataka to do rounds in districts that have a poor response for donation.

The vans were officially flagged off by Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shivananda S Patil here on Monday is likely to address the shortage of blood.

These five vans would do rounds across five selected districts collecting blood from donors and distributing these units to hospitals when need be.

Speaking to DH, Swatantra Banakar, nodal officer, state blood cell, Department Health and Family Welfare, said these had been designated to Shivamogga, Ballari, Vijayapura, Tumkuru and Davangere districts. These districts have the least number of blood units available throughout the year. "The idea is to strengthen blood banks in these districts," he said.

The units collected at present in these districts are sufficient to meet the demands of major private hospitals and district hospitals only. Officials said that with the introduction of the vans, they will meet the demands of taluk hospitals as well.

"The van will have one staff counsellor, a doctor, two staff nurse and a driver. They will draw a plan on the places to visit for the collection," he said.
The vans will visit colleges, bus stands and other places. "The counsellors and doctors will educate people about the need for blood donation. We are looking at collecting a minimum of 25-30 units a day," said Banakar.

He said unlike in Bengaluru, even when camps are organised in these districts, very few volunteers come forward to donate blood. "There is a poor response in these districts and North Karnataka. Hence, the idea to have them there," he said.

These vans have been procured at Rs 42 lakh each and have been purchased using funds provided under the National Health Mission. In all, the state has seven such vans. Two were procured last year.