Already facing shortage of plasma to treat Covid-19 patients, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) is staring at another medical crisis as its lone blood bank in Mira Road is running dry because of stocks hitting rock bottom due to paucity of donors compounded by obstacles in organizing blood donation camps due to the pandemic induced lockdown.
Even though the state government has begun to relax the lockdown in a phase wise manner, citizens are still hesitating to donate blood. Currently, the bank has only 11 bottles of different blood groups in stock. The twin-city’s monthly requirement of blood is approximately 700 to 800 units.
“The shortage is acute. Apart from accident cases and other requirements, blood transfusion is the main treatment for patients suffering from ailments like thalassemia. We are issuing an average of 20 to 30 units to such patients free of cost,” said in-charge of MBMC’s blood bank Vinayak Choudhary while appealing people to donate blood and social organisations to conduct blood donation drives in the twin-city.
As per statistics, the blood bank had collected 4,806 units from January to September last year, however, this year the collection has dropped by more than 20 per cent in the corresponding period. Similarly, a 60 per cent drop was witnessed in collection drives during the recently held Ganeshutsav. Notably, the quantity of blood collected witnessed a significant drop of around 40 per cent between April and July this year.
To address the shortage of blood, the MBMC and the various units of the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar Police Commissionerate in their respective circulars have requested organisers of Navratri events to create awareness amongst devotees about the issue and also set up blood donation camps. With restrictions being relaxed, the demand for blood is now increasing. Unlike other civic bodies, the MBMC charges just Rs 790 for a blood unit. Moreover the provision is free for Covid-19 patients admitted to civic hospitals and expecting mothers.