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The blood bank at RIMS, Ranchi, supported by JSACS

Ranchi, Oct. 25: Jharkhand State AIDS Control Society (JSACS) will be opening a clutch of blood banks across several districts to ensure safe transfusion in remote areas that do not have such facilities amid a relatively high incidence of HIV positive cases.

By the year-end, the state-owned apex body for AIDS control hopes to have in place blood banks in the district headquarters of Sahebganj, Koderma, Seraikela-Kharsawan and Chatra.

While Koderma, according to sources, may have 700 HIV/AIDS patients, Seraikela-Kharsawan, Sahebganj and Chatra each roughly have 500 affected by the disease.

So, a decontaminated blood source in these districts is a must to prevent an outbreak.

The society is also looking at lifelines for Khunti, Ramgarh, Godda, Pakur and Jamtara by the next financial year.

It has already applied to the Central Licence Approving Authority for Sahebganj licence. It is expected to apply for licences for the three other blood banks within a few weeks.

"We expect a team from Central Drug Authority, Calcutta, to come and assess the infrastructure at Sahebganj in a few days. Following its approval, we will be issued the licence to run a blood bank there," said JSACS director Aradhana Patnaik.

She maintained that the banks would ensure timely collection and storage of decontaminated blood. "We deem it our responsibility to make safe blood available for transfusion," she added.

Each blood bank will be manned by a doctor, a pathologist, two lab technicians and a nurse. They will be appointed by the National AIDS Control Organisation (Naco). Naco has already appointed members of staff to man the Sahebganj blood bank while the process of appointment for the others is underway.

Currently, the apex AIDS body has blood banks at sadar hospitals in 15 districts. Once the licences are obtained, the number of JSACS blood banks in the state will go up to 19, leaving only five districts without the life-saving facility.

Apart from Ramgarh, where the military hospital in the cantonment area has a blood bank, Khunti, Godda, Pakur and Jamtara are yet to be equipped with government-owned or private blood banks.

Besides JSACS, the government owns 16 blood banks across Jharkhand, including three in medical colleges and hospitals. There are also 26 blood banks jointly owned by public and private sector organisations in the state.

The maximum number of blood banks, which is 14 considering both government-run and non-government ones, are located in the state capital.

The districts, where the AIDS society plans to open blood banks this financial year, currently lack the facility. The project will thus bring much relief to patients who require frequent transfusion.

The JSACS has recently identified 6,265 HIV patients following a survey on more than 1.3 lakh people in villages across the state. Main carriers of the AIDS virus are migrant workers. Though Jharkhand falls in the low-prevalence category of HIV/AIDS, according to a rough Naco estimate, over 20,000 people may have already been affected statewide.source - telegraphindia.com

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