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Times of India
15 September 2010
Hyderabad, India

Over emphasis on safe sex in HIV awareness campaigns is undermining the importance of safe blood donation. There is a need to rethink on the strategies as equal importance is required for safe voluntary blood donation as well, said Daggubati Purandeswari, minister of state for human resource development, at the inaugural of the first national conference on voluntary blood donation held in the city on Tuesday.

‘Safe Blood Donation Vital’
However, the key issue discussed at the meet was the severe shortage of blood being faced and ways to address it. Andhra Pradesh stands in the seventh position in the country as far as voluntary blood donation is concerned and meets just 52 per cent of its blood requirement through voluntarily donated blood as against the national average of 76.2 per cent. Rest of the blood comes from replacement donors and professional donors.

Officials said that the shortage of blood was huge. For the requirement of nine lakh units in AP annually, six lakh units are available in 235 blood banks. "In over 90 per cent of the cases, whole blood is used for transfusion. If used rationally in terms of blood components, the shortage can be reduced to a certain extent," said J Satyanarayana, special chief secretary, medical and health.

With the National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) setting up metro blood banks in four metros to wipe out the shortage of blood, the special chief secretary asked Naco to set up one in Hyderabad.

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