After being compelled to live with persistent problems like load-shedding, water shortage, hike in the prices of petroleum products and other edibles, among other things, it has now been reported that hospitals and patients are hit hard by the shortage of fresh blood. Needless to say, this is a very serious matter since unavailability of blood can lead to immediate and premature death of the patients. It is said that the frequent bandhs imposed by the seven-party alliance and the Maoists and the government’s recent curfew orders led to the cancellation of a number of blood donation camps, which in turn, triggered the shortage. It is unfortunate that political activities like bandhs are being allowed to endanger the lives of the people. No civilised nation faces such a ridiculous crisis that too due to politics, no matter how violent or weary the situation. Politics need not disrupt other state activities, definitely not those involving the health of the public. Meanwhile, the people, on their part, should realise that there is no reason why they should be engaged in activities that ultimately put at risk their own well-being.

However, political atmosphere is just one of the many reasons for the shortage of blood in medical centres. While the Central Blood Transfusion Service is struggling with the fast depleting bloodstock and finding it hard to meet the demand, the lack of good preservation methods in the hospitals and nursing homes is reported to be creating even greater problems. Worse still, the patients and their kin seldom return the extra packets of blood that could prove vital in saving other lives. Thus, by introducing modern preservation method and designing ways to check the wastage, the department concerned can surely cope with the demand to a considerable extent. At the same time, it is important to encourage people to donate blood since there are only about 50,000 donors in the country presently. People should be made to realise, through awareness campaigns, the significance of the blood donation drives.