The State Govt. has established a State Blood Transfusion Council on 1996-97 as a society and was registered under Registration of Societies Act XXI of 1860 vide registration no. RS/KAM/240/142 of 1996-97 in the state of Assam in compliance of the Hon’ble Supreme Court Order. Assam State Blood Transfusion Council (ASBTC) is the policy formulating apex body in relation to all matters pertaining to operation of blood centers which in turns responsible for implementation of the Blood Programme at State level as per the recommendation of the National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC).
Voluntary Blood Donation programme is the foundation for safe and quality Blood Transfusion Service in the State. Voluntary blood donors are the cornerstone of a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products. The safest blood donors are voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors from low-risk populations. Voluntary non-remunerated blood donor is a person who gives blood, plasma or other blood components of his/her own free will and receives no payment for it, either in the form of cash or in-kind which could be considered a substitute for money. This includes time off work, other than reasonably needed for the donation and travel. Small tokens of appreciation, refreshments and reimbursement of the direct travel costs are compatible with voluntary, non-remunerated blood donation. Whereas Family / Replacement blood donor is a donor who gives blood when it is required by a member of the patient's family or community. The replacement donation may involve a hidden paid donation system in which the donor is paid by the patient's family which in turns compromises the safety of the blood.
Despite this notion, family/replacement donors still provide more than 90% of the blood collected in Assam. Such donors are supposed to be associated with a significantly higher prevalence of transfusion-transmissible infections (TTIs) including HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis and malaria due to notion of liability of donating blood for their relatives.
For safe blood service in our state, where comprehensive and costly add on laboratory tests are neither possible nor pragmatic, it is best to switch over to 100% voluntary donations, as it is now established that only voluntary & non-remunerated regular donation is the safest. Thus, one of ASBTC’s key strategies to enhance blood safety is to focus on motivating non-remunerated blood donors and phasing out all replacement donors.
Govt. of Assam has given approval of Rs. 2 crore for ASBTC, during the Financial Year 2017-18. An implementation plan has been prepared to wipe off the scarcity of blood and ensure availability of safe and quality blood and other blood components, round the clock and throughout the year in the State of Assam which will lead to elimination of human sufferings, even to the far-flung remote areas in the State. The details of the Implementation Plan are stated below.
1. Technical Manpower to be recruited on contractual basis for State Blood Transfusion Council:
In Assam, the SBTC does not have any full-time professional and administrative staff. The Council is mainly composed of honorary members and is headed by the health secretary. As the members and chairperson have many other responsibilities, the meetings of the Council are not held regularly. Compared to Other state, Assam lacks systematic organization of the Blood-Transfusion Council. Assam established its SBTC as a part of SACS and appointed the Project Director of SACS as head of SBTC. Thus, the SBTC is not an independent unit and works under ASACS. To make ASBTC functional in the State recruitment of the most essential manpower is proposed as stated below for smooth implementation of blood services in Assam.
2. Blood Collection Van (Engagement of Manpower):
To improve 100% Voluntary Blood Donation by motivating non-remunerated blood donors and phasing out all replacement donors, Blood collection Van is very essential in each district which is comprise of 2 (Two) Donor Couch for conduction of outdoor Voluntary Blood Donation camps and awareness programme on regular basis. However Rs. 692.09 Lakh has been received from NHM out of which Rs. 161 Lakh is given for Procurement of 5 nos. Mobile Blood Van & Transportation and Stickering of Van.
3. Human Resource for Each Blood Collection Van:
Present Blood Banks personnel are not sufficient to mobilize themselves for outdoor VBD camps regularly. To conduct outdoor Voluntary Blood Donation Camp on regular basis a dedicated Human Resource pool is required in each Blood Collection Van for outdoor camps and awareness programme.
4. E-Blood Bank MIS (Recurring Cost):
Assam Govt. has launched e-Blood Bank MIS system which was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Minister for Health & FW on 1st December 2016. It is a completely automated Web Based Blood Bank Management Information System which is centralizing donor database throughout the state in a single network to track and trace each donor in the state. This MIS will help the public for easy access to the blood availability status of blood banks through web portal.
For Maintenance &Automation of e-Blood Bank MIS a budget has been prepared.
5. Awareness campaign for Voluntary Blood Donation:
To create awareness among the common people on Voluntary Blood Donation through electronic and mass media a budget has been proposed for various activities.
6. Administrative Cost:
Institutional strengthening of ASBTC, office stationary like Cartridge, Paper etc. is required as.
7. Bulk SMS:
For promoting the voluntary blood donation during various days including World Blood Donor Day, National Voluntary Blood Donation Day, World AIDS Day, National Youth Day etc. A budget of Bulk SMS charged has been proposed.
8. Up gradation of existing Govt. Blood Banks:
Up gradation of electrical, civil and mechanical aspects of only 4 Blood Banks out of existing 23 Nos. of Govt. Blood Banks in Assam. A budget for cost of up gradation has been proposed.