Transfer of doctors hits blood banks’ working  Neena Sharma

Dehradun, September 26
Recent transfers carried out by the Health Department have left blood banks at the Gopeshwar and Pauri district hospitals without pathologists. Not only have the day to day haemaotology testing come to a standstill, but also the targets set for collection of blood through voluntary donation now seems unachievable.
With great difficulty the State Blood Safety Council (SBSC) had equipped the two blood banks with necessary equipment and licences were issued only after adequate staff was deputed there. However, with the transfer of Dr Aditya Tiwari to Kashipur the Gopeshwar Community Health Centre Blood Bank is without a pathologist. Similarly, after the transfer of a pathologist, the blood bank at Pauri too is facing similar problems.
“All hill districts of the state have been given a target collection of 13 blood units per month through voluntary donations. The blood banks at the Gopeshwar and Pauri Community Health Centres were established to meet the demand for blood promptly in these districts and also encourage voluntary donations which is the safest method to tide over the shortage of blood,” said Dr Meenakshi Uniyal, Director of the State Blood Safety Council.
This perennial shortage of staff has also come in the way of making the new blood banks at Baurari, Rudraprayag and Bageshwar functional. Licences can only be issued to these blood banks after they are equipped with adequate staff.
Significantly, while the SBSC has been successful in making the blood storage centres functional at the Vikasnagar, Rishikesh and Doiwala Community Health Centres (CHCs), its efforts to set up such centres at the CHCs at Bhawali, Agustmuni, Karnprayag, Joshimath and Kichha have not materialised due to a shortage of manpower.
“According to the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), in places where blood banks cannot be established blood storage centres are proposed for undertaking storage, grouping and transfusion of blood. But these centres too are facing problems due to a shortage of manpower. We were forced to shut the Narsan (Roorkee) blood storage centre after it could not attract adequate staff. Similarly, the Rishikesh blood storage centre too is awaiting the appointment of a laboratory technician to start functioning,” said Uniyal.
Despite facing problems in running of blood banks and blood storage centres, the state has achieved the target of 80.19 per cent of voluntary blood donation.

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