Health workers around the country agree that shortage of blood and blood-derived products result in untimely deaths of countless Nepalis, though no one has as yet come up with an accurate body count. The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) has been the sole authority in dealing in human blood and its derivatives the country since 2023 BS. At present, NRCS collects and stores blood at 58 collection centres across Nepal from voluntary donors.
The number of voluntary blood donors in Nepal has seen a sharp rise, though not nearly enough to the volume needed. According to World Health Organisation, blood needs of the whole world would be met if only 5 per cent of people volunteered to have their bloods withdrawn. Blood donation is very safe. Any healthy person above 18 can safely donate blood every three months. Routine blood donation prevents excess accumulation of iron in blood, reduces the risk of heart diseases among men and just a pint of withdrawn blood takes away 650 calories of fat. In light of all these benefits, some argue, there is no shortage of donors but rather it is the lack of coordination among NHRC, social groups and common people that is causing the shortfall. What is indubitable is that more blood donation programmes need to be held and more people made aware and motivated to donate blood for the most noble cause of all...saving human lives.