Kolkata, July 26 : Days after two blood donation camps were conducted in Kolkata’s brothel-based sex workers’ districts, the Central Blood Bank and the Medical College, Kolkata on Thursday last have decided to segregate and stop the use of blood units which were collected from there.
Director of the Institute of Blood Transfusion, Medicine and Immunohaematology (BTM and IH), Kumaresh Halder in a statement said: “We are segregating the said blood units (72 units), collected on July 11.”
He said that he had informed the director of health services of the state about it.
He said they are trying not to organize Voluntary Blood Donation Camp within 2 km of Red Light areas.
A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation led by party’s state vice-president Subhash Sarkar earlier met Kumaresh Halder on Thursday and demanding action so that the blood is not used.
It was reported that on July 11 and July 16- in a span of just five days- two local clubs of Kolkata’s two red light areas hosted blood donation camps where prostitutes and drug addicts donated bloods. The ruling party leaders, ministers, MP and MLAs were present as chief guests on both occasions.
According to the National Aids Control Organization (NACO)’s guidelines, nobody can organize blood donation camp inside and within a radius of 2 km of a red light district.
The Central Blood Bank and Medical College, Kolkata had collected 72 and 150 units of blood respectively from those blood donation camps.
Subhash Sarkar told IBNS: “We met the head of Maniktala Central Blood Bank Dr Kumaresh Halder and discussed about the segregation of blood units which was collected from the city’s red light zones. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) manual, the ‘donor shall be in good health, mentally alert and physically fit and shall not be inmates of jail, persons having multiple sex partners and drug addicts’. The blood donation camps were organized without following these norms.
“Dr Kumaresh Halder also admitted that it was a mistake and agreed to segregate and stop the use of the blood.”
Demanding the segregation of 150 units of blood, BJP’s delegation on the same day met the head of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion Department of Kolkata Medical College & Hospital Blood Bank which collected the blood from a blood donation camp organized at Bowbazar’s Harkata Lane area in Kolkata on July 16.
BJP’s delegation claimed that Kolkata Medical College Blood Bank also agreed to quarantine and discard the 150 units of blood.
Sarkar said: “I am a doctor and after knowing the news of such blood donation camps I was shocked and surprised. I am feeling relaxed now after getting the confirmation of the segregation of all 222 units which were collected from red lighted areas.”
“Such blood donation camps should not be conducted in future,” he added.
Meanwhile, according to sources, some blood units which were collected from Sonagachi by the Central Blood Bank were distributed already, though the blood bank authority denied it.
The organizers of those blood donation camps could not be contacted.
West Bengal health minister Chandrima Bhattacharya refused to speak.
(Reporting by Deepayan Sinha/IBNS)