In one of the many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the blood banks of Mumbai and MMR areas are on the verge of running dry, due to which hospitals of Mumbai and its satellite cities are under immense stress. Amid low blood supply, doctors and health officials are finding it difficult to revive patients.
"Before the pandemic, people would happily come for the blood donation camps which were held every Sunday, however donors are afraid to turn up now and we couldn't meet with the demand that we have been receiving," representative of a city blood bank told FPJ.
Knowing about the crisis, a Mumbai-based citizens group - Mumbai North Central District Forum (MNCDF) —initiated an online drive to appeal to Mumbaikars for coming forward and donate blood.
Through its Twitter handle, members of the MNCDF have created an online portal where donors could register themselves, following which the members of the group would connect the donor to the nearby blood bank in their area. In case there is a group of donors in a specific region, MNCDF is providing doorstep pick-up and drop service as well.
"The fact is, many people don't know about blood banks running dry, hence we decided to spread awareness about the current situation while at the same time, appeal to people for coming forward as well," advocate Trivankumar Karnani, founder and spokesperson MNCDF told FPJ.
In the past three weeks, MNCDF have received more than 100 applications from donors, of the total applications more than 70 per cent have already donated blood at their nearby blood banks. Karnani informed most of the donors are between the age groups of 20 and 40 years.
"We have received an overwhelming response, because we have received applications from donors living in areas like South Mumbai to Vasai and Virar, the problem of blood shortage is much bigger than we could think off," Karnani added.
To carry out the drive, the group has designated members who have expertise in the matters of blood donation. These members coordinate with blood banks and maintain a record of their requirements while at the same time coordinate with the donors.
"I have arranged blood and plasma for more than 160 patients during the time of pandemic outbreak, I know the technicalities of the job hence it becomes easier for me to coordinate" MNCDF member Ronak Shah told FPJ. Shah donates his blood frequently to patients suffering from Thalassemia and blood cancer, presently he is one of the blood and plasma coordinator of MNCDF.