Awareness camp on blood donation organised in Dharmshala


By: Puneet Sood

Dharamshala: An awareness Camp on Blood Donation and HIV/ AIDS was organised at ITI for Women, Dari, four kilometres away from Dharamshala, as part of the National Youth Day Celebrations.

There is no substitute for human blood and blood is required at times of surgery, delivery, accident and in diseases like haemophilia. A human body has 4.5 to 5 litres of blood, of which one can easily donate 350 ml and the volume depleted is replenished by the body within 24 hours. Dr  RK Sood, Epidemiology Researcher, Dharamshala told that that the health department was implementing blood safety programme through recruitment of voluntary non remunerated donors and healthy donor retention. Dr Anju Puri blood Bank officer, Zonal Hospital Dharamshala apprised the youth that the blood bank collects blood, tests it for possible diseases, stores it at optimum temperatures and gives these to needy patients after cross matching.

Supreme Court has banned professional blood donation. Sood said that any healthy person between the age of 18 and 60 can donate blood every three months and discussed on the importance of Blood donation, attitudes and myths related to the blood especially fear of weakness.

A film “Badalti Soch” was screened on the occasion to sensitise the youth to the issues of vulnerability, stigma, discrimination, acceptance and living positively and hope in HIV/AIDS.

AIDS affects the youth, the productive section of society. He added that the first case was detected in 1986 in India, and the country has 2.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS – urgent measures are needed to stop this epidemic. The 2006 estimates of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), supported by UNAIDS and WHO, indicate that national adult HIV prevalence in India is approximately 0.36%. India stands third, next to South Africa and Nigeria in terms of people living with HIV/AIDS. In the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, the first case of HIV/AIDS was detected in 1992.

Dr Sood further told that anybody can walk into the ICTC (Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre) and avail free counselling and testing facility in Room No 402 of Zonal Hospital. Dharamshala. Further, PPTCT services, for antenatal women at Kangra, toll free tele counselling, condom depots at Indian Oil petrol pumps and civil supply shops, red ribbon clubs in schools, Free Anti Retroviral Therapy at IGMC Shimla, Community Care Centre at Kakira, Chamba; supply of milk powder to prevent transmission from infected mother to infant, and financial assistance for HIV infected children, too can be availed.

About 120 youth participated in the camp, and 10 of them pledged blood donations. However many of them turned out to be anaemic.

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  1. Anemia is a common problem and needs to be addressed through fortification of salt with iron. double fortified salt should be introduced as a public health initative-

  2. AIDS is really a subject where every person should have concern.the maximum stress should be given on the motiivation rather then donation so that people come voluntarlary to donate blood. there are various misperception towards blood donation among the youngsters which can be changed by motivation and awareness camps so bravo to all the social workers who is working for this noble cause

  3. I don't know why but blood donation has become a very touchy issue these days. People shy away from voluntary blood donation where as it should have been opposite with increase in number of literate people and removing of so many myths by science associated with blood donation.

    Shimla hospitals had been facing shortage of blood during the winters. There is a site about blood donors at <a href="” target=”_blank”>
    More people are required to register here to help patients in need. Himvani can also take a lead here by maintaining a database of blood donors district or city wise.

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