Voluntary blood donors are the cornerstone of a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products. The safest blood donors are voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors from low-risk populations. NACO defines a voluntary blood donor as follows, ”A person who gives blood, plasma or other blood components of his/her own free will and receives no payment for it, either in the form of cash or in-kind which could be considered a substitute for money”.
For effective and safe blood banking, it is absolutely necessary that the only source of blood is a voluntary blood donor. There are an umpteen number of professional blood donors, who donate blood for the sake of money. Such donors never indicate the truth about their health condition, and any general indications of lifestyle or also if some very basic pre donation matters have been addressed. These people have contributed rapidly to the spread of killer diseases like AIDS, Hepatitis etc. This practice needs to be abolished completely and 100% voluntary blood donations must be order of the day. The other category includes the replacement donors, wherein somebody from within the patient’s circle donates to replace the unit being taken for the patient.
The way to bring about this change of ensuring 100% voluntary blood donations is to identify the low risk population, educate and motivate them and make them regular blood donors. Furthermore, this section of the population must be given the opportunity to donate blood at regular intervals in a safe and hygienic ambience either in a blood bank or in any voluntary blood donation drives. The goal of securing a sufficient number of voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors for a regular and safe supply of blood has not yet been achieved. A blood donor organization can be critical in ensuring that there is a sufficient blood supply.
The Rakta Kranti Bangalore wing of Sankalp India Foundation looks to address this problem by conducting safe, quality conscious, hygienic and well organised blood donation drives in corporate establishments in the city, and thereby not only try strive for 100% voluntary blood donation but also to educate and motivate more people to join in and become regular voluntary blood donors. These drives are called by an innovative name – THE I CARE BLOOD DONATION DRIVES.