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Blood banks under scanner

- Experts to visit 84 facilities in state to detect deficiencies

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 4: The directorate of drugs controller administration (DDCA) has decided to start a drive to inspect blood banks across the state.

Last month, the DDCA had issued notices to the blood bank authorities of Ashakiran Hospital in Koraput and Chatrapur Sub-Divisional Hospital in Ganjam district to stop collection of blood. Officials in the directorate said both the blood banks lacked infrastructure. They did not have adequate manpower and their generators were not functional.

In February, the DDCA had temporarily suspended the licence of the blood bank of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation for deficiencies in infrastructure. Similarly, the directorate had ordered the closure of the blood component separation unit in Capital Hospital for not having two refrigerators to preserve the blood. However, both the blood banks resumed functioning since June.

A team of officials, including officials of the Odisha State Aids Control Society, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and the local drug inspector, will visit blood banks across the state to detect deficiencies. The state has 84 blood banks, including eight in Bhubaneswar.

“We have started a drive to check the blood banks across the state. We will also ensure that all the licences of the blood banks have been renewed,” said deputy drugs controller (administration) and licensing authority Mamina Patnaik. All blood banks need to renew their licence every five years.

The comptroller and auditor general (CAG), in its report last year, had revealed that 68 blood banks in the government, private and PSU sectors were functioning without valid licences as these had not been renewed. The report also stated that the joint inspection by officials of the health and drug departments had not been conducted even once in five years.

The report also revealed that various prescribed equipment needed for collection, processing, testing and storage were not available in 11 blood banks out of the13 reviewed by the CAG. The state has collected more than 3.4 lakh units of blood in 2012.