Blood donors in Lucknow include only 2% women

Story by  IANS | Posted by  Vidushi Gaur | Date 14-06-2024
Blood donation in Lucknow
Blood donation in Lucknow



Women constitute merely two percent of blood donors in Uttar Pradesh's capital city.

This is mainly because many women have low haemoglobin levels, due to the high prevalence of anemia. Iron deficiency and anemia are a common health issue among women.

Prof Tulika Chandra, Head of the Blood and Transfusion Medicine Department at King George’s Medical University (KGMU), said that around 300 units of blood have been donated at her Department through compulsory replacement and voluntary means. Of those, only 5-6 units have come from women.

Similarly, at RMLIMS, out of the 70-80 blood donations daily, hardly 1-2 are from women. The situation is similar at the IMA blood bank.

She said there are four major reasons behind the low participation of women in blood donation that need to be addressed.

About 90 percent of the women who come for donation at KGMU are deficient in haemoglobin. Anaemia is a common health problem among women, with a reported prevalence of up to 64 percent.

Another major reason is that women do not move around much. The third reason is that they have apprehensions about donations. She shared that among the women found to be fit for donation are those involved in sports activities or NCC.

“It is because, due to exercise and a good diet, their haemoglobin is maintained,” she added.

In charge of RMLIMS blood bank, Dr. Vijay Sharma said that to address this issue, efforts should focus on improving nutrition and preventing anemia. Even though the city has campaigns to encourage people to voluntarily donate blood, it’s still a rare occurrence.

Most blood banks depend on a system where someone gets a unit of blood only if they or someone they know donates a unit first (exchange donations).

Prof Tulika Chandra said that out of the 78,000 blood units they collect each year, only 30 percent come from voluntary donors and these mostly happen at organised blood donation camps.

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Big government hospitals like KGMU, SGPGIMS, Balrampur, Civil, and Lok Bandhu all struggle with the same issue. Balrampur Hospital, which sees 4,000 patients every day, gets very few voluntary blood donations. The IMA blood bank and Lok Bandhu Hospital also report low numbers of voluntary donors.