On October 1st 2009, National Voluntary Blood Donation Day, Indian Red Cross not only cheers the young donors to come forward and donate blood but also celebrates elevation of its blood bank at NHQ as a model blood bank by NACO. This is the only blood bank outside the government fold to get into this privileged group.
Indian Red Cross observes the day by organizing a seminar on the theme ‘Catch them Young’ at its Disaster Management Centre, New Delhii and shall also felicitate its regular donors and organizations partnering Red Cross in its blood campaign. Dr. Salim J. Habayeb, World Health Organization’s India Representative, will be the chief guest for the occasion.
“IRCS has an over eight million wide base of Youth Red Cross (YRC) spread across the country. We propose to start a motivational programme for youth. The aim is to initiate them in to voluntary blood donation. We propose to catch them young so that they become our lifelong blood donors and end up being centurion donors”, says Dr. S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General, IRCS.
“I exhort all youth above 18 years of age to enter their adulthood by becoming a blood donor as the gap in demand and supply of blood needs to be abridged. This shall be achieved by motivating and recruiting new breed of donors”, adds Dr Agarwal. Statstics say that accidents, diseases, surgeries and deliveries account for loss of a large number of precious lives due to non-availability of blood.
Safe blood donors are the cornerstone of a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products. The safest blood donors are voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors from low-risk populations. The Society gives adequate attention to donor care, effective communication between blood centre staff and blood donors and initiatives for the retention of voluntary blood donors. The Society is running 116 blood banks across 14 States and contributes 10 percent of the total requirement in the country. Red Cross collects over 80 percent blood from the voluntary donors against the national average of 62 percent.
Red Cross leads voluntary blood programme in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Orissa. In the year 2008-09 twenty-three blood banks in Andhra Pradesh, conducted 1613 camps and collected 1,39,643 units of blood. In Haryana, 728 camps were organized in which 1, 29,264 units of blood were collected (70,330 voluntary). In Orissa, Red Cross collected 1,59,294 units of blood of which 1, 00,325 were voluntary.