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The union health ministry is planning a nationwide database of blood donors connected through a web-enabled system. "Blood donation services require a complete revamp. We are planning a national database of blood donors connected through email and social media," Health Secretary P.K. Pradhan said. "We want more volunteers for effective resource management and constantly engagement with the community in the database," Pradhan added.
Already functional in Odisha, e-blood bank service is a web-enabled system for electronic monitoring of blood collection, testing, storage and final use or disposal. The system functions through bar-coding of blood bags to ensure blood collected first is used first in 100 per cent cases. "An online database of regular donors needs to be maintained. Donors listed in the database will get SMS reminders and encouragement notes so that their interest is maintained," he said, adding "a similar system could work for organ donation".
The health ministry is roping in volunteers from the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS). While voluntary blood donation camps organized by schools, colleges and civil society have popularised blood donation among people, a proper collection and transfusion service is needed, the official said. According to official statistics, the percentage of annual voluntary blood donors per year is around 50 percent, way less than the World Health Organisation's target of 100 percent collection through voluntary non-remunerated donors. A similar initiative has been started by the Indian Blood Banks Society which will help people find blood donors online. During an emergency this could come in really handy, as it will help narrow down the search by including parameters like blood group and location.
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