BENGALURU: Former Health Minister Shivanand Patil launched blood collection and distribution vans in July this year, that would go around the city and collect blood from donors and distribute them to hospitals. These were launched in five high priority districts – Tumakuru, Shivamogga, Ballari, Davanagere and Vijayapura, which have always seen shortage of blood donors. However, these did not take off in the five districts until the second week of November.
“Blood collection vans were delayed as doctors were not applying for the post of medical officers, owing to low salary. A proposal was sent to the Government of India for revision of their salary from Rs 38,000 to Rs 50,000 per month, as the posts were not getting filled. This was recently approved after which the recruitments were completed,” said an official from the Department of Health and Family Welfare.
Six members are needed per van. These include one counsellor, two staff nurse, one medical officer (doctor), one driver and one group D staff.
The vans will visit colleges, schools, hospitals, bus stands and other public places to raise awareness on blood donation. Rs 1.77 crore has been sanctioned under the National Health Mission funds for the project.
The vans are supposed to collect a minimum of 25-30 units of blood per day. The blood will be given to private, taluk and district hospitals.
The vans can attend two donors at a time. The districts were selected as they had the least amount of blood units available for patients. Holding blood donation camps did not see a good turnout in North Karnataka districts unlike places like Bengaluru, which is why the blood collection and distribution camps were launched. More vans are planned to be procured next year as well.