New Delhi: Expressing concern over the high rate of maternal mortality in the country due to want of safe blood during pregnancy, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today said that the government will work to ensure that each district soon has a blood bank.
“Almost 88 per cent of pregnant women in this country suffer from anaemia, which is a major contributor to the high maternal mortality rate in India.
“Of these, 13.5 per cent women come under the grip of acute anaemia, often leading to death,” Vardhan said here at an event organised to mark World Blood Donor Day. He said that as many as 80,000 women die in the country due to want of safe blood during pregnancy. About 87 per cent of pregnant women suffer from anaemia of which 13.5 per cent suffer from acute anaemia, which can be life threatening.
If there are more safe blood banks in the country, the number of women dying during pregnancy due to loss of blood can be significantly reduced, Vardhan said. “We will see that each district in the country has a safe blood bank in the coming one-two years. I will talk to the states and civil society organisations about this. The Centre will do all it can to see that this is implemented soon,” said the Health Minister.
He also launched a National Plasma Policy on the occasion which is aimed at optimising the use of plasma recovered by blood banks which are tested safe for clinical use. The policy aims at making available high-quality proteins of immense clinical significance, derived from human plasma, which otherwise goes to waste.
While attempting to bridge the gap between demand and supply of such life-saving plasma-derived proteins, it seeks to ensure adequate regulatory and legislative steps for monitoring of activities related to plasma-derived products. The policy, drafted by the Department of AIDS Control,is an addendum to the National Blood Policy, 2003.