<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Union health ministry to probe into the wastage of 28 lakh units of blood in the last five years, as revealed by an RTI (Right to Information) in April.The NHRC has given the health ministry eight weeks to take appropriate action in the matter. Mumbai-based RTI activist Chetan Kothari had filed an application to the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO), and two months ago, he received the response. The loss of 28 lakh units of blood also cost a loss of six lakh litres of blood components such as red blood cells and plasma. This despite blood being essential to Thalassemia and blood cancer patients.After obtaining the data, Kothari approached the NHRC seeking action as blood and blood components are essential life-saving drugs.The RTI revealed that states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were among the worst offenders when it came to wastage of blood.Most of the wastage occurred due to lack of coordination among blood banks across India, said Kothari. “In many cases, blood was wasted because of delays to conduct tests due to staff shortage. Lack of exchange of blood between private and public blood banks also affected utilisation,” he said.Ironically, when Mumbai reported a spate of dengue cases last year, some patients paid as high as Rs 25,000 per unit of blood at tony private hospitals in the city.Meanwhile, health experts are worried that the “media trial” of blood wastage may dissuade people from donating blood. Vinay Shetty, Vice President, Think Foundation, said, “The overall percentage of blood wasted. What will happen if people stop donating blood? Patients would die. Stopping blood donation won’t solve the problem.”

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Rights body urges Centre to probe blood wastage