Punjab’s premier blood bank shut, pregnant women worst hit

Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, August 17

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“Doctors at the Civil Hospital and those of two local private hospitals refused to treat my pregnant wife Kajal Rani for want of blood. Kajal was shifted to Abohar where she delivered a child,” said Sunny Kumar, a resident of local College Road Colony. He said they suffered a lot for want of blood.

“I had to travel to blood bank at Abohar for a unit of blood. I reached there at 9 am and could return only at 8 pm. My pregnant sister Kirna Rani’s life was at risk. Thereafter, her caesarean delivery was conducted in the midnight three days ago,” rued one Gurjeet Singh, a resident of Kabulshah village.

Not only Kajal Rani and Kirna Rani, but large number of pregnant women, emergency, accident victims and particularly thalassemia patients are at the receiving end as the premier blood bank of the state situated in the local district hospital has been shut for want of Blood Transfusion Officer for last two weeks.

The collection and distribution of thousands of units of blood has come to a standstill. The bank has been rated among the first five top blood banks of the state since 2018.

In the present situation, 33 children suffering from thalassemia and their parents in Fazilka are shaken and desperate lot.

The needy patients of Fazilka and Jalalabad have to rush to the Civil Hospital in Abohar, which is at a distance of 35 to 160 km, for procuring blood, a cumbersome process in emergency cases.

The information gathered by The Tribune reveals that Fazilka blood bank supplies 500 to 600 units of blood every month to the needy patients of Fazilka and Jalalabad.

A leading blood donor NGO, Shri Ram Kirpa Sewa Sangh Welfare Society, which has secured seven state awards, has been instrumental in collecting 45,000 units of blood for the Fazilka blood bank since 2018.

Rajeev Kukreja, blood donation campaign in-charge of society, has demanded a permanent post of the BTO in Fazilka to prevent any loss of life.

After much hue and cry, Fazilka Civil Surgeon ordered to appoint a Blood Transfusion Officer from Abohar on deputation for three days — Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — but how the blood bank would run without a valid licence is yet to be known.

Officer to be posted in Fazilka soon

We are seized of the issue. A Blood Transfusion Officer will be posted at Fazilka soon. Health Minister’s PA