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EC bans blood donation camps, Kolkata struggles


Amrita Panja,CNN-IBN
Apr 12, 2011 at 10:24am IST

Kolkata: The Election Commission's directive to ban political parties from organizing blood donation camps has left patients helpless in Kolkata. Most blood banks usually count on blood donation camps organized by political parties.

Narayan Chatterjee has visited four blood banks in the city in six hours. His 85-year-old father needs seven units of blood for surgery on his fractured leg.

"I have never seen such a crisis," Chatterjee said.

Like Chatterjee, there are several others waiting for precious blood at LifeCare Blood Bank.

Medical Bank Secretary D Ashish said, "Can't political parties send their boys to donate blood only because they can't organize camps? Politics after all is to serve people."

The shortage has especially hit patients of Thalassemia and blood cancer who need blood transfusions regularly. Due to the crisis, blood is being given in its exchange.

23-year-old Nitin Barui has to now look for a donor to donate blood for his mother suffering from cancer.

Central Blood Bank Director Dr SN Guchait said, "Unfortunately, I have to ask people to donate blood and take blood in return. The crisis needs to be filled up in some way"

With patients on the receiving end, this crisis is likely to get worse in the next one month.

For most of the people waiting for hours to collect blood for a loved one ailing at some hospital in this city, the elections do not matter as long as a life can be saved.

Clearly, when life is in question the count of votes cannot make up for the counts of blood required.

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