Health Ministry data shows 11 of 89 NACO-supported blood banks in Uttar Pradesh score 35 or lesser, indicating low-quality management.
The recent Farrukhabad and Gorakhpur tragedies that resulted in the death of over 110 children brought into limelight the state of the government-run hospitals in in Uttar Pradesh. The state's dismal show in the recently released NACO-supported blood bank report raises further questions on the status of its healthcare system.
A preliminary assessment report on blood banks supported by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) across India shows that most NACO-supported blood banks in Uttar Pradesh score less than the national average for quality management.
Data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) shows that 11 of the 89 NACO-supported blood banks in Uttar Pradesh scored less than or 35, indicating a low-quality management system. The report adds that these blood banks rank poor on quality management.
Uttar Pradesh has 101 NACO-supported blood banks, including the blood banks run by the government and NGOs or charitable entities.
Blood is an intrinsic requirement for healthcare and proper functioning of the health system, especially in cases of communicable diseases. NACO has been primarily responsible for ensuring the provision of safe blood for the country from since 1992.
Quality management of blood banks assumes high significance as people from lower strata of society visit state-run hospitals.
NACO's efforts to modernise blood-banks, establish model blood banks, and set up blood storage centres in rural areas have improved the quality of blood transfusion services in the country. However, the system still has gaps.
“There are gaps in blood transfusion services, (in) ensuring access to quality blood and blood products to all those who are in need, that need to be addressed at the district, state and regional level through an evidence-based approach,” the assessment report said.
For Uttar Pradesh — a state with a population of 19.9 crore (2011 Census) — the data on the conditions of blood bank is disconcerting.
Bihar and Odisha follow Uttar Pradesh with just seven and three NACO-supported blood banks receiving poor scores on quality management, respectively.
In contrast, Maharashtra leads all states on "good" quality blood banks. The state has 42 NACO-supported blood banks that scored above 70 on quality management. The health ministry assessed 116 of 120 NACO-supported blood banks in the state.
Maharashtra (120) had the highest number of NACO supported blood banks followed by Tamil Nadu (95), Uttar Pradesh (89), Gujarat (77) and Karnataka (66). India has 1,126 NACO and MoHFW supported blood banks out of the total 2,760 blood banks in the country.
Of the 1,101 NACO-supported blood banks, 32 recorded a low-score while 209 scored more than 70 indicating "good" quality management systems.
About 78 percent or 860 NACO-supported blood banks rank "average" on quality management, with a score in 36-70 range.
The current phase of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP IV 2012 -2017) emphasises blood safety and aims to support 1,300 blood banks and achieve 90 lakh blood units from NACO-supported blood banks.
On an average, about 0.9 NACO-supported blood banks per one million population are available across India.
With a score of 9.2 blood banks per 1 million population, Mizoram tops the ranking on the availability of NACO-supported blood banks. That's a significant departure from the national average of 0.9. Once again, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh fail miserably with under-average scores of 0.4 blood banks per 1 million population.West Bengal (0.7), Jharkhand (0.7), Rajasthan(0.7), Assam (0.8) and Madhya Pradesh (0.9) also have lesser blood banks compared to the national average.