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Red Cross Observes Blood Donor Day
New Delhii; 14th June, 2007

The Indian Red Cross Society observed World Blood Donor Day by organising a painting competition among thalasaemic children and holding a seminar on the theme, 'Safe Blood for Safe Motherhood'.

The seminar was inaugurated by Lt. Gen. (Retd.) J.R. Bhardwaj, Member, National Disaster Management Authority. In his address he mentioned that in times of wars that India fought and following big natural disasters, large number of people had lined up to donate blood to save lives of fellow countrymen .


However, more people should come forward to donate blood for routine requirements like surgeries and child birth complication etc.

Secretary General of the IRCS, Prof. (Dr.) S.P. Agarwal, in his address mentioned that over 10% of the total blood and blood product requirement in the capital city is met by the NHQ blood bank of the Society. Drawing the attention on the theme for this year's World Blood Donor Day, he brought forth astounding facts stating that 5,00,000 women die of pregnancy related problems every year in the world, that makes one women die every minute. The maternal mortality ratio in India is 301 per one lakh live birth which is only two per lakh live birth in Sweden. He also mentioned that in the developing and the underdeveloped parts of the World, women suffer due to drop in haemoglobin level and many die due to non availability of blood at the time of child birth. He mentioned that Red Cross has been a champion of the campaign in promoting voluntary blood donation all over the World.

Dr. Salim J. Habayab, WHO representative for India in his address stated that it's a national duty for all of us to contribute to the responsibility of lowering down the maternal mortality ratio to achieve the health related Millennium Development Goal. He also distributed mementos to distinguished blood donor organisers and donors.
Mr. Suresh Kamdar received standing ovation for his 167 donations and organisations like Sant Nirankari Mandal, Delhi College of Engineering, Satya Sai Sewa Samiti and others were also felicitated for helping in promoting voluntary blood donation. Mr. V.K. Luthra, Member Managing Body, IRCS, who had donated blood for 93 times also spoke on the occasion and was honoured.

Prof. (Dr.) Suneeta Mittal, Head, Department of Obstetric & Gynaecology, AIIMS stated that India ranks 127 among 175 countries in Maternal Mortality, 87% Women suffer from anaemia during pregnancy and 40% of the death during child birth are reported from South Asia. Dwelling upon the Twelve by Twelve Initiative she said that it is hoped that by 2012 all adolescents across the country would have at least 12 gm percent of Hb at the age of 12.

Prof. (Dr) Sunesh Kumar, Deptt of Obstetric & Gynaecology, AIIMS reminded the audience that Mumtaz Mahal died during 13th child birth due to post-partum haemorrhage. He added that maternal death due to haemorrhage can be prevented if there is adequate and prompt replacement of blood loss by transfusion of safe blood.

Other distinguished speakers in the seminar were Dr. Veena Doda, HOD, Blood Bank, RML Hospital, and Mr. Jagan Chapagain, Deputy Head of Zone for Asia Pacific, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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