Sunday August 18, 2019

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
  • 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

ALSO READ:

  • 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.

SHARE
  • 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.

Next Story

By Advancing Interdependence, India will Bring New Dawn for Democracy in 21st Century

All citizens must be active participants in shaping the future of India

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Interdependence can be achieved by creating a country in which there is a shared understanding of the value of each citizen and a reliance on one another to eliminate discrimination. Pixabay

In his first speech after winning the election for his second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proclaimed that “…we have to win ‘sabka vishwas’ (everyones trust).” What will be required to win that trust is establishing a true state of interdependence. Interdependence can be achieved by creating a country in which there is a shared understanding of the value of each citizen and a reliance on one another to eliminate discrimination, hostility, and prejudice and to provide equality and opportunity for all. All citizens must be active participants in shaping the future of India. They must be equal partners in Indias inclusive economic mobility and in Indias shared prosperity.

Independence Day is the perfect day to highlight the importance of and advance the concept of interdependence. This can be accomplished by promoting the need for a unified India on this national holiday.

The need for doing this is critical. Unfortunately, in the period since the Prime Minister called for winning “trust” in his speech, some Indians have engaged in actions destroying it.

Sadly, the heinous crimes at the beginning of Modi’s second term are nothing new. There were several lynchings and numerous attacks on Muslims during his first term.

Interdependence, India, Democracy
In his first speech after winning the election for his second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proclaimed that “…we have to win ‘sabka vishwas’ (everyones trust).” Pixabay

Modi did not speak out vigorously then. He must do so now to demonstrate the essential leadership that will be required to create a state of interdependence. There are other serious conditions that must be addressed as well. To name just a few: sexual violence and subjugation of females continues; the caste system still exists; and, the problematic conditions of those in the weaker sections persist.

By speaking out, Prime Minister Modi can bring the country together to confront the matters that are hardening India’s democratic arteries. He cannot do that alone, however. He will need buy in and support from across the country and the citizenry.

A first step should be to “find our spiritual common ground”. That step can be initiated by recognizing that spirit is the invisible force that brings us together regardless of our caste, race, religion, region or political predisposition. The goal in discovering that common ground should be to create one nation under God. That nation would be an interdependent one and its God would be ecumenical and non-denominational. Its God would be welcoming to all.

As one nation, India would celebrate and embrace the richness of religious diversity

Also Read- BBC Decides to Expand its Shortwave Radio Service in Kashmir to Beat Communications Blackout

As one nation, India would be inclusive and accepting unity over division and hope over fear

As one nation, India would elevate citizenship above angry and mindless partisanship and bring people together to pursue the common good

As one nation, India would be the place known for sharing and caring as opposed to blaming and shaming

As one nation, India would emphasize building bridges instead of constructing boundaries and barriers

Interdependence, India, Democracy
What will be required to win that trust is establishing a true state of interdependence. Pixabay

As one nation, India would ensure that all its people are literate and equipped with the skills to succeed in the 21st century

As one nation, India would extend life lines instead of drawing battle lines

As one nation, India would be a land of big dreams, small treasures, brave people, kind deeds, and tender mercies

As one nation, India would ensure the importance of the freedom of the free press, not to bury it

Also Read- Gold Price May Increase to Rs 40,000 per 10 Gram by Diwali

As one nation, India would be a role model and exemplar for other democracies to emulate

Everyone must play a role in establishing India as one nation. Each citizen should engage in small acts of kindness by reaching out to those less fortunate and to the downtrodden by extending a helping hand and a hand up.

Some people can make special contributions. Religious leaders should promote interfaith dialogue. They should bring people together followers of different persuasions for meaningful conversations. They should promote a dialogue of understanding and a shared sense of community with other faiths. They should call the fact that attack on one faith is attack on all faiths. Political leaders should promote a framework of unity and civility. Civic and community leaders should promote collaboration in problem-solving. They should toil together their creeds to plant the seeds for doing good deeds.

There is no better day on which to resume our journey than Independence Day. There is no better way to make that journey than to chart a course to interdependence. By reaching that destination, India will establish itself as the beacon of hope for democracy worldwide. By realizing that potential, India will bring a new dawn for democracy in this 21st century. (IANS)