About 7.15 lakh units of blood is collected every year in the state and 95 per cent of it is through voluntary donation, revealed Dr J Radhakrishnan, Health Secretary at the World Blood Donor Day function held on Wednesday.
In a function organised by the Tamil Nadu State Aids Control Society (TANSACS) and the Tamil Nadu Blood Transfusion Council to encourage regular blood donors, the health secretary said that awareness programmes were organised. “We should encourage first time donors with special awards, so that more and more people volunteer to donate blood,” he added.
Health Minister KC Veeramani said that the State is currently leading in blood donation but is yet to reach their target. “Organs are donated after death. But only blood donation gives immense satisfaction as we can do it when we are alive. I donate twice a year and it gives me a lot of satisfaction,” he said.
Pointing out that a person can donate blood once in three months, Mayor Saidai Duraisamy said that anyone can donate it as long as they have the generosity. “We have 95 per cent voluntary donation. If we try, we can even donate blood to other states,” the Mayor said.
About 32 regular blood donors, who were chosen from 68 applicants, were felicitated during the function. 61-year-old Gopalakrishnan from Cuddalore, was among them. The trader, who started donating blood since he was 18, had so far done it 82 times.
TANSACS project director Rajendra Ratnoo said that the function was a culmination of various programmes that were organised across the State, which started on World Blood Donor Day on June 14. The director also spoke about a web portal for blood banks where donors can register themselves for donation. “The portal will update people on the availability of blood, category wise,” he informed.
According to officials, there are 272 blood banks in the State, out of which 84 were under the government, 176 private and 11 were Central and State centres. The blood bank at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital was the largest with about 35,000 units of blood collected so far. “Every unit of blood is separated into four – red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets so it can help save four lives,” Dr V Kanagasabai, Dean, MMC informed.