Nepal | June 25, 2019

EDITORIAL: Blood crunch

The Himalayan Times

The concerned agencies should have taken precautionary measures before blood supply became an acute problem

Many hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley are facing acute shortages of blood, and this has hampered surgeries of many serious patients.

The patients who need immediate surgery are waiting in queues for months for want of matching blood. Kanchan Shakya from Birendranagar, for example, has been running from pillar to post in search of 12 pints of ‘O positive’ blood for the heart surgery of her 12-year-old daughter who needs immediate surgery to save her life.

But she has been able to manage only one pint of blood. Even the Central Blood Transfusion Service (CBTS) has not been able to supply enough blood to the needy people.

Due to unavailability of required amount of blood from CBTS and other social organizations many patients are forced to postpone their surgeries. The hospitals are also unable to supply blood as blood donors are not immediately available due to the ongoing festive season.

It is particularly problematic for people who have come to the Valley from outside for treatment as they are not well acquainted with the local people and social workers who help collect blood.

Likewise, Nabin Bhandari of Gulmi is also facing a similar problem like Shakya. Bhandari brought 30-month-old Anmol Thapa, the son of his relative, who has been admitted at the Kanti Children’s Hospital for the last three days for the treatment of leukemia.

But the baby’s parents have not been able to arrange the ‘AB positive’ blood. These are two instances that tell how grave the situation is at present in the Kathmandu Valley. The Bhaktapur-based Blood Bank has also the same story to tell.

The Blood Bank in Bhaktapur had to reach Kavre and adjoining districts to collect blood, but it managed to collect only 300 pints of blood which is less than what is required in the Valley every day.

According to CBTS, the hospitals in the Valley require at least 400 pints of blood to provide the required services to the needy patients.

The Blood Banks, CBTS and major hospitals have blamed the Dashain festival for the acute shortage of blood in the Valley where most hospitals are concentrated and most people visit the capital for medical treatment from all over the country.

The blood banks, CBTS and hospitals could not organise blood donation campaigns before the Dashain festival as people were busy preparing for the festival holiday as around two million people left the Valley for their home districts to observe the festival and meet their parents and relatives.

It is very difficult for the blood banks and CBTS to store the required amount of blood during the festival season because people are in no mood to donate blood. However, the concerned agencies should have arranged precautionary measures before it became too late and acute.

They should have understood that the situation like this could arise as they know very well the fact that people are not prepared to donate blood during the festive season. Time is running out to address this problem.

The blood banks and CBTS must immediately make an urgent public appeal to donate blood so that needy patients can benefit from essential services.


Show no mercy

Owners of vehicles parked in prohibited area will have action taken against them. The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division would be pasting Traffic Violation Tickets (TVT) on the wind shield of the offending vehicles.

The offenders would be required to pay a fine of Rs. 1000 within 24 hours at the nearest traffic police post. At present the Kathmandu Metropolitan City tows away the two wheelers that are parked in restricted areas. However, they do not have cranes to take away the four wheelers.

It is estimated that there are at least 700,000 vehicles in the capital city. There are only 100 parking zones with the capacity to accommodate 1,500 in the Valley.

Parking in restricted areas is one of the leading causes for traffic snarls. Therefore, there is dire need of constructing more underground parking lots.

The traffic would be better managed if unauthorized parking is strictly prohibited. Meanwhile, the Office of Transport Management would provide information of the offenders whose vehicles have been detained to the traffic police.

The rampant violation of no-parking zones should not be taken lightly as they result in the narrowing of roads. Repeated offenders should have their driving licenses suspended.


A version of this article appears in print on October 18, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


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