Friday September 21, 2018

In India, Blood Transfusions are affecting people with HIV

As per the HIV Estimation Report (2015), 21.17 lakh people are presently living in the country with HIV/AIDS

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Blood transfusion. Image source: ww.dailytech.com
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  • India’s blood donation system has recently suffered a major setback due to reduced funding and growing self-approbation
  • As per the HIV Estimation Report (2015), 21.17 lakh people are presently living in the country with HIV/AIDS
  • Paying blood donors is banned in India, but it is rampant in the country and makes up as the fuel to a lucrative blood business in the black market

2234 people in the last 17 months have contracted HIV because they were so sick they needed blood.

The National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) has revealed the information in response to an RTI petition filed by information activist, Chetan Kothari, said a BBC Report.

According to the RTI reply, Uttar Pradesh makes up the highest number of patients infected with HIV through transfusion of contaminated blood in hospitals with 361 cases, followed by Gujarat with 292 cases and Maharashtra with 276 cases. The Capital Delhi alone has registered 264 cases as of yet.  States like Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim have zero reports.

Kothari says he was “shocked” by the information his query brought out. He added, “This is the official data, provided by the government-run NACO. I believe the real numbers would be double or triple that.”

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As per the HIV Estimation Report (2015), 21.17 lakh people are presently living in the country with HIV/AIDS. With this, India constitutes the world’s third largest population of people affected by HIV. The other two leading the numbers are South Africa (68 lakhs) and Nigeria (34 lakhs).

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Despite many efforts, blood transfusion remains a source of HIV infection globally, with its incidence varying between high-income and low-income countries. In India, shortage of several million blood units occurs every year, with only 1% being the rate by which HIV infection through blood transfusion has decreased lately.

According to the Indian Journal of Anaesthesia, dated 2014, Volume 58, Issue 5, the government has set standards for safe blood transfusion but these suffer a heavy lack of proper implementation.

“There are private labs which also conduct these tests but they charge hefty amounts. Therefore, it is not possible for poor people to get it done,” said Kothari.

The law in India makes it mandatory for hospitals to screen both the donors and the donated blood and check for HIV, hepatitis B and C, malaria, syphilis, and other such infections.”But each such test costs 1,200 rupees and most hospitals in India do not have the testing facilities. Even in a big city like Mumbai, only three private hospitals have HIV testing facilities. Even the largest government hospitals do not have the technology to screen blood for HIV,” said Kothari.

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A larger section of people coming from the lower strata donates blood to earn immediate money. Even though payment to blood donors is banned in India, this section makes up as the fuel to a lucrative blood business in the black market.

Other than blood banks, hospitals often ask families of patients to get donors so they can stock up for a later need of blood transfusion. Ideally, all blood banks must examine the donor’s medical history and the presence of any chronic illness. They must compulsorily counsel the donors and finally check the donated blood during the entire process of blood donation. There is also a ‘window period’ when a donor might not test positive for weeks even after being affected by HIV. However, there are tests to reduce the same and accelerate the donation procedure, but costs are high.

There are state-run and national level NGOs that volunteer and set up blood donation camps across with the help of social service enthusiasts and prominent activists. “I am required to look for at least 18-19 donors a day as an intern at the primary level,” said Nidhi Tripathi, who works with The Saviour NGO in Kolkata. The organisation has arranged “over 500 donors in an emergency, registered over 20,000 people as emergency blood donors and conducted many blood donation camps in public.”

India’s blood donation system has recently suffered a major setback due to reduced funding and growing self-approbation. “More blood donation campaigns with a stringent safety-checking mechanism needs to be promoted,” says Dr N. Alam, a Homeopath physician, based in Patna.

According to officials, the decrease in the number of newer infections has led to funding being reduced over the years. Also, in the last two years, widespread deficiencies of stocks of important drugs and testing kits have resulted due to bureaucratic delays having “little or no accountability.”

 While it becomes absolutely essential to strengthen the screening process of blood donors, it is also vital for the government to pay heed to funds in the health sector.

“The central and the state government need to coordinate and bring out a measure so that these things are made available to the poor,” said Kothari.

-by Maariyah Siddiquee, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid

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  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    The government would have to work on such cases. Medical negligence and rackets lead to loss of lives. They have to inquire into such issues seriously.

  • AJ Krish

    I don’t get it.Background detailing and testing has to be done for blood donation to prevent transmission of HIV through contaminated blood.Yet the government fails to provide the necessary support that is needed to do all the tests and these tests ain’t that cheap.This is a matter of grave consequence as HIV is feared and dreaded by all .The government has to rise to the occasion.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Before even donors donate blood, there should be a check up. Eligible people should be allowed and people having blood related issues should be prevented from donating it.

  • devika todi

    the government needs to look into such issues carefully. negligence on such grounds can even lead to loss of lives.

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  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    The government would have to work on such cases. Medical negligence and rackets lead to loss of lives. They have to inquire into such issues seriously.

  • AJ Krish

    I don’t get it.Background detailing and testing has to be done for blood donation to prevent transmission of HIV through contaminated blood.Yet the government fails to provide the necessary support that is needed to do all the tests and these tests ain’t that cheap.This is a matter of grave consequence as HIV is feared and dreaded by all .The government has to rise to the occasion.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Before even donors donate blood, there should be a check up. Eligible people should be allowed and people having blood related issues should be prevented from donating it.

  • devika todi

    the government needs to look into such issues carefully. negligence on such grounds can even lead to loss of lives.

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Best Casinos In India

In areas like Goa, there are quite impressive gambling establishments, which can provide a pretty good idea as what the future holds.

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Casino Popular with Indian Gamblers. Pixabay

Gambling is hugely popular all around the world, especially in the form of casinos. People love nothing more than heading down to their favourite land-based casinos to try their luck on slot games, blackjack, poker and roulette. Nowadays, we have all heard and might have visited Las Vegas and Macau; two of the best places to experience the best casinos have to offer. In fact, there is arguably little to choose from between the two renowned places. With regards to India, gambling is currently restricted to certain regions. In spite of this gambling in this part of the world is still is a popular form of entertainment and has a growing following. So much so, that some believe, it won’t be long before we see casinos and gambling being allowed across the country; especially when taking into account revenues that will be realised through taxation and licensing.

Right now, in areas like Goa, there are quite impressive gambling establishments, which can provide a pretty good idea as what the future holds, if indeed gambling is allowed to flourish. We have taken the liberty of highlighting a few of the best that everyone needs to visit in India right now.

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We’re all very familiar with gambling websites and online casinos, where you can do anything from betting on sports events. Pixabay

Deltin Royale

The Deltin Royale is by far and away one of India’s finest, largest and most luxurious casinos. It’s a must visit venue for a reason, with gaming taking place on three levels. Whether slots or table games are your thing, your needs will be catered for, with 850 gaming positions inside the casino. Visitors will also be able to treat themselves to some fine dining, while also being able to enjoy fine wines and single malts. This place is more than just a casino, with plenty of shows, including stand up comedy, taking place on a regular basis.

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This place is more than just a casino. Flickr

Casino Mahjong

Casino Mahjong is a venue with plenty to offer its visitors. It was set up by three entrepreneurs from Gangtok and aims to provide gamblers with that sweet feeling of triumph associated with winning. It’s actually one of the most famous casinos in India, spread across 7,000sqft, with 15 live gaming tables available to play at. They also offer a private poker room which sports 7 tables, with VVIP gaming and state-of-the-art slot games on offer too. Visitors will also find themselves entertained by the daily performances at Casino Mahjong, as the venue goes that extra mile to keep their players happy and entertained throughout their stay.

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Mayfair Hotels & Resorts, along with Casino Mahjong support and promote responsible gambling. Flickr

Casino Pride

Casino Pride is a group of casinos within India, which are recognised as being some of the best around due to their high standard of gaming and hospitality. They currently have two five-star venues under their banner which tells you that they offer players the quality experiences they expect, every time. They’ve also been awarded the award for being the best casino in India by the Indian Travel Awards too. What you’ll find at Casino Pride establishments are slots and table games, as well as local favourites such as Mang Patta and Paplu. Casino Pride is an operator who stick close to their roots, while also recognising their international connections too.

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A landmark of Glory & Glamour. With five Casinos & two five stars under its banner, awarded the best casino in India by Indian Travel Awards. Flickr

Casino Pearl

Casino Pearl is one of the newest casinos in India, located in the 5-star resort of Bogmallo. It may be relatively new to the scene, but it’s already managing to cause a stir with it being one of the largest casinos in the area. They have everything a gamer casino goer could need and more, with plenty of slots, table games, live roulette, baccarat and Tai Sai. Visitors are also able to take advantage of unlimited food at the buffet, as well as unlimited drinks, making this a must visit venue for people looking to have a good time.