K’taka Thalassemia Patients Suffer as Lockdown Hits Blood Donation

Thalassemia patients in Karnataka have reportedly been hit as the lockdown has curbed blood donations

1 min read
Roads empty in Bengaluru

The 21-day lockdown due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country has severely restricted travel and cut down on non-essential movement. While medical services and medicare are being regarded as essential services, the lockdown has reportedly made it hard for Thalassemia patients in and around Bengaluru to access regular blood transfusions.

According to a report in The Times of India, a social media campaign started by Bengaluru residents #voluntaryblooddonation, #savelives on 26 March has helped five blood donations take place so far.

"The need of the hour is to start a helpline for blood donation and this has to be government initiative,” Vinay Kumar from Basaveshwarnagar told TOI. He is reportedly working with Alphonse Kurian of Sanjay Nagar Lion's Bloodline to bring together volunteers to donate blood.

According to the report, on Monday, 30 March, a volunteer was unable to reach the hospital where a pregnant woman undergoing surgery urgently needed blood, as he was stopped by cops. Alternate arrangements had to be made to supply the woman with the blood.

Two blood donation drives were also reportedly organised by a network of thalassemia day care centres in the state.

With at least 1,500 people in the state suffering from thalassemia in the state, a WhatsApp campaign has also been started to raise awareness on the importance of blood donations, particularly for children.

(With inputs from The Times of India)

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