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Blood deficit of around 7 million units annually in India poses challenges for patients suffering from thalassemia

Our Bureau, Mumbai
Tuesday, July 9, 2024, 16:40 Hrs  [IST]

A massive blood deficit of around 7 million units annually not only creates immense pressure on blood banks but also poses challenges for patients suffering from thalassemia, says Anubha Taneja Mukherjee, member-secretary, Thalassemia Patients Advocacy Group.
She further adds, “We look forward to the new Government’s full Budget session, with much anticipation, given the various initiations in and around healthcare in the last few years. We expect this Budget to address the critical needs of patients suffering from Thalassemia and other blood disorders. As a first priority, we request the Finance Ministry to allocate increased resources to address the critical blood shortage in the country. India requires 14.6 million blood units each year according to a study, Final Report on Estimation of Blood Requirement in India, published by the Union health ministry.”
Secondly, a 360 degree public awareness campaign by the government is required to encourage voluntary blood donation. Presently, 80% of blood requirement is met by replacement donors, with individuals donating only when a family member or friend needs blood. Encouraging a culture of regular blood donation from healthy individuals through a public campaign is essential for creating a reliable blood supply. Third, funding for indigenous gene therapy research in India is required for improved thalassemia treatment. Fifth, financial support is critical for nucleic acid testing (NAT) implementation to enable wider adoption of this advanced testing method in blood banks. The advanced NAT technique boasts far greater accuracy in detecting infections and enhancing blood safety.
The Thalassemia Patients Advocacy Group urges the Government to increase resource allocation in the above areas to ensure better health outcomes for thalassemia patients and foster a healthier, more inclusive society.
Talking about strengthening the Indian healthcare system, Dr Vaibhav Kapoor, co-founder, Pristyn Care said, “We expect a budget that fortifies the cornerstone of our nation's healthcare system. A robust and sturdy healthcare system is essential to India's economic development. We believe that the budget will place more of an emphasis on building infrastructure and technology for healthcare as well as on hiring qualified medical personnel. Improving these fundamental elements would make it possible to provide better healthcare services and guarantee that underserved areas and low-income individuals are sufficiently serviced.”
He further adds that a robust healthcare system is vital for our population's well-being and the country's overall growth. India must strengthen its infrastructure, invest in advanced medical technologies and enable trajectories for upskilling of healthcare professionals. Healthcare technology strengthening can enable doctors to scale up patient care and management and open new pathways to a futuristic care ecosystem.
Dr. Harshit Jain, founder & global CEO, Doceree, share his expectations stating, “Budget 2024 is a defining moment for the pharmaceutical sector in India. We look forward to robust support toward R&D and innovation through higher fiscal incentives and reduced GST on critical inputs to spur growth, foster technological advancement, and further fortify India's leadership in global healthcare.”


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