| Greater Jorhat Lions Blood Bank. Telegraph picture |
Jorhat, Sept. 18: The Jorhat Greater Lions Club has set up a state-of-the-art blood bank here.
The facility is the first of its kind in Upper Assam and also the club’s first such initiative in the Northeast.
The blood bank, which will be functional round the clock, is being termed as a “dream project” of the club and Union DoNER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar will formally inaugurate it on September 23.
The facility has been set up on the first floor of the Jorhat Greater Lions Club building at Sonali Jayanti Nagar.
Roman Bordoloi, one of the trustees of the blood bank, said the facility would fulfil a long-standing need of the people of Upper Assam. The Rs 1-crore project in its second phase will have a unit for separating blood that will cost another Rs 40 lakh, he said.
The Greater Jorhat Lions Blood Bank project was taken up about five years ago after it was found that there were no modern blood banks in the region, Bordoloi said. The licence to set up the bank was given by the Drugs Controller of Assam after several inspections by teams sent by the deputy drugs controller office (Calcutta).
A full-time doctor, three paramedics and medical director Animesh Baruah — who is a radiologist and also one of the trustees of the blood bank — will run it, Bordoloi said. The personnel have been trained in Calcutta.
The blood bank has the capacity to store 500 units of blood for about a month.
The Lions Club International Foundation, Chicago provided Rs 26 lakh for the project while the rest of the amount was raised from various fund-raising events organised by the club for the past 12 years, Bordoloi said. The blood bank will be run on a no-profit no-loss basis and will charge the minimum amount for conducting the mandatory tests for HIV, Hepatitis B and malaria. The bank will follow the method of replacement under which a person can get blood from the bank but will have to deposit the same amount of blood at the bank.
“We will charge Rs 600 for every unit of blood, which will be given for an exchange of the same amount. The charge is to cover the cost of carrying out the tests. Those who cannot give blood for exchange will have to pay another Rs 600 per unit as security amount, which will be refundable within the next 15 days, if they manage to deposit the blood,” the trustee said.
Bordoloi said a campaign would be launched to create voluntary blood donors so that a quarterly blood donation camp could be organised for the bank. Later, in the second phase of the project, a blood separation unit will be installed. It will enable the bank to separate whole blood into two components — fluid and ingredients — and supply to people according to their requirements.