KATHMANDU: The Central Blood Transfusion Service is struggling to supply blood with the number of donors drastically going down since the quake.
Normally 400-500 volunteers used to donate blood before the quake, but not many people are approaching blood donation camps of late, said Jiwan Tara Bhatta, Senior Administrative Officer at CBTS, underscoring the need of strong awareness campaigns. “The number of donors a day has gone down to half, with 200-250 people approaching to donate blood in recent days.”
“The demand has remained the same but we have not been able to supply blood, as we have failed to collect blood in sufficient amount — may be because of fear of aftershocks,” said Bhatta.
According to Bhatta, the daily need of blood is 300-500 units. “But we have been able to collect only 200-250 units of blood per day,” he said. The CBTS, whose building was seriously damaged by the quake, is in search of a proper place to relocate. The building of the CBTS has been marked unsafe and hence needs to be demolished.
“We are also in need of safe places for running blood donation camps,” said Bhatta. Few spaces available in Kathmandu, where blood donation camps can be run, are surrounded by vulnerable structures, which is making matters worse for us, he added.
An official and two volunteers were buried under the debris of Kashthamandap after the quake struck on April 25 when a blood donation camp was being organised there.
“That incident has instilled more fear among CBTS staff as well as donors,” he added.
In addition, scorching summer heat is another reason why the CBTS is seeing low number of volunteers, according to Bhatta. “Before the quake also, during summer and festive season, we used to have less number of blood donors,” said Bhatta. Bhatta suggested that the CBTS, Nepal Red Cross Society and blood donor agencies should conduct strong awareness campaigns to encourage volunteers to donate blood.
A version of this article appears in print on June 30, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.