Launch of Thalassemia Support Scheme , felicitation of best donor organizations , blood centres mark National Voluntary Blood Donation Day
Rongili Barta- Along with the rest of country, Assam State Blood Transfusion Council (ASBTC) and Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) under the aegis of Health & Family Welfare Department, Assam, observed National Voluntary Blood Donation Day at Assam Administrative Staff College, Jayanagar, Khanapara on October 1, 2022. The day marked the launch of “Thalassemia Support Scheme” for children with thalassemia up to 14 years of age and honouring of the best donor organizations and best blood centres. In her welcome speech, Director, Assam State Blood Transfusion Council (ASBTC) Pomi Baruah, ACS, said, “National Voluntary Blood Donation Day commemorates the birthday of Dr Jai Gopal Jolly, a renowned physician and ‘Father of Transfusion Medicine in India’, who also pioneered the voluntary blood donation movement in the country. The prime objective behind observance of Voluntary Blood Donation Day is to make the voluntary blood donation drive a mass movement so that a person gets safe blood whenever required.” She further said, “During the Raktdaan Amrit Mahotsav that started from September 17, 2022, a total of 5311 units of blood were collected. This is a great achievement and I would like to thank all the blood donors, donor organizations, blood centres, educational institutions who have come forward to make this mega voluntary blood donation drive successful.” Speaking on the occasion, Principal Secretary to the Govt of Assam, Shri Avinash Joshi, IAS, said, “Blood cannot be manufactured in a factory. Blood is manufactured only in human body. Therefore, every eligible person should come forward and donate blood. Let’s celebrate the Voluntary Blood Donation Day every day.” He further said that there is a significant improvement in blood unit collection in the in the present financial year when compared to the year 2021-22. He said that from April 2021 to August 2021, total blood unit collection was 68130 units and total voluntary blood donation camps organized during this period was 198 camps whereas from April 2022 to August 2022, 94369 units of blood were collected and 297 voluntary blood donation camps were organized. He also lauded the efforts undertaken by the department and other stake holders to make the voluntary blood movement a success. Minister for Agriculture, Veterinary, Horticulture etc and Guardian Minister of Kamrup (M), Shri Atul Bora, who was the Chief Guest of the event, said, “In the state of Assam where the population is more than 3 crores, no person should die due to scarcity of blood. Therefore, there should be 100 per cent voluntary blood donation.” He further said, “Voluntary blood donation strengthens the social fabric because this is an act of solidarity and a person who donates blood saves many lives.” The Minister also said that during the last few years, the health sector in the state has seen lots of improvement and the time is not far when Assam will become another medical hub of the country. During the event, ‘Thalassemia Support Scheme’ for children with Thalassemia under the age group of 0 to 14 years was launched by the Minister. Under this scheme, apart from the other benefits received by the Thalassemia patients under various schemes, financial assistance amounting to Rs 10,000/- will be provided annually to the children up to 14 years of age who are registered with the Government health facilities. Another highlight of the event is felicitation of 10 best donor organizations that have conducted highest number of Voluntary Blood Donation camps and collected maximum units of blood in the year 2021-22. Donor organization Purbottar Pradesiya Marwari Yuva Manch received the first prize, followed by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and National Medicos Organization (NMO). Four best Blood Centres who have registered at e-Rakt Kosh and conducted maximum number Voluntary Blood Donation camps and collected maximum units of blood during Raktdaan Amrit Mahotsav that started on September 17, 2022 were felicitated. They include State of the Art Model Blood Bank of Gauhati Medical College & Hospital, Blood Centre of Bhogeswari Phukanani Civil Hospital, Nagaon, Blood Centre of Cachar Cancer Hospital & Research Centre and Blood Centre of Central Hospital N F Railway, Kamrup, Assam.