World Blood Donor Day: India 60 tankers short of blood in 2016-17; Bihar, Uttar Pradesh worst afflicted

Mumbai: India fell short of 1.9 million units of blood in 2016-17 – equivalent to 60 tankers – that could have aided more than 320,000 heart surgeries or 49,000 organ transplants, according to official data.

This is an increase from a shortage of 1.1 million units or 35 tankers in 2015-16, when India had fallen nine percent short of its 12 million target, as IndiaSpend had reported on 3 September, 2016.

India collected 11.1 million units of blood in 2016-17, meeting 85 percent of its 13 million units target based on World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, according to a recent reply by Anupriya Patel, junior minister for health, to a parliamentary question.

The World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on 14 June every year. About 112 million blood donations are collected worldwide every year, 50 percent of which are donated in low and middle-income countries where around 80 percent of the world’s population lives, according to the WHO.

The WHO recommends that the blood requirement of one percent of a country's population be used as a ballpark estimate of its blood needs. By this measure, India was short of 1.9 million units of blood, data presented to the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) on 23 March, 2018, shows.

This would be equivalent to 60 tankers, considering one unit of blood as 350 millilitres (ml) and one standard tanker-truck to contain 11,000 litres.

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