The Kathmandu Valley faces 40 per cent shortage of blood everyday. This, despite the Central Blood Transfusion Service (CBTS) unit of the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) launching various blood donation campaigns to make up for the shortage. Of the 250 pints of blood needed on an average daily, the NRCS currently manages just around 150 pints. But what is surprising is that it is not donor shortage that is being blamed for the deficiency but the doctors and surgeons themselves for their “lack of clinical awareness...and inappropriate use of blood during surgeries” by CBTS authorities.
Undoubtedly, there is a shortage of blood donors in Kathmandu Valley. But is a part of this shortage artificial? There no doubt needs to be a mechanism in place to see to it that only the appropriate amount of blood is being used by concerned doctors and surgeons. But equally, if not more, important is greater public awareness about blood donation. They need to be convinced that there is no harm whatsoever in donating blood; that it is in fact good for donor’s health. It is especially important to take this message to the younger generation (school and college students, in particular) to inculcate a culture of blood donation in the society. The message should also seep across to as broad a section of population as possible so that people do not die because of the shortage of this easily available vital component.