Roche Diagnostics and Apollo Hospitals launch #IPledgeRED initiative on safe blood for transfusion
The campaign encourages students to donate blood at nearby Apollo Hospital sites and also learn about the safe blood screening practices adopted to ensure safe blood that is free from any infections for recipients. The campaign is supported by the Thalassemia Patient Advocacy Group (TPAG) and Thalassemia India (TI).
New Delhi: Blood transfusion is a vital component of a healthcare delivery system but there is a huge mismatch between demand and supply. To address this important issue, Roche Diagnostics and Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited have joined hands to create awareness on the need for safe blood donation and screening to ensure safe blood for transfusion with the #IPledgeRED campaign.
The “IPledgeRED” campaign will extend across colleges in over eight cities to promote voluntary blood donation amongst students of 18 years and above. The initiative will collaborate with colleges across Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi for voluntary blood donation. The campaign encourages students to donate blood at nearby Apollo Hospital sites and also learn about the safe blood screening practices adopted to ensure safe blood that is free from any infections for recipients. The campaign is supported by the Thalassemia Patient Advocacy Group (TPAG) and Thalassemia India (TI).
Though very low, one of the risks of blood transfusion is that of blood-borne infections causing transfusion-transmitted diseases (TTIs). The “IPledgeRED” campaign will highlight the role of Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) which can screen infections that are as recent as five days, thereby reducing the risk of transfusion-transmitted diseases (TTIs). With NAT screening, transplant recipients, accident victims, cancer patients, and those undergoing major surgery can be assured of safe supplies of blood and plasma for transfusion, the statement said.
Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, said “The “IPledgeRED” campaign will make our youngsters aware of how the adoption of NAT can ensure that only the safest blood reaches recipients. With this campaign we will also educate the medical fraternity at large to advocate for safe blood screening, thus ensuring safe transfusion practices.”
Speaking on the occasion, Narendra Varde, Managing Director, Roche Diagnostics India, said “In India, mandatory screening tests that are in practice often cannot detect underlying infections, and hence there is an acute need for an additional layer of most sensitive tests such as nucleic acid testing. We are confident that with the combined power of the network of Apollo Hospitals and Roche Diagnostics’ leadership in the blood and plasma NAT screening market, we will be able to bring safety, reliability, and efficiency to donor screening on a national level’
According to Dr Mohit Chowdhary, HoD, Blood Bank, Apollo Hospital Delhi, “Timely detection of blood infections is not only important for patients but is equally important for the donors. Patients requiring blood transfusion are mostly critical patients with compromised immunity and infected blood can unleash a new set of complications that further jeopardize the patient’s health. Hence, the use of NAT screening is a must for safe blood transfusion practices. NAT is a very sensitive technology, detects early-stage infectious agents such as HIV/HCV/HBV and occult HBV infections, thus helping maximize the availability of safe blood to patients.”
“India accounts for almost 10 percent of the total global incidence of Thalassemia patients who need regular blood transfusions. Most of them were impacted by the shortage of blood during the pandemic, hence campaigns like IPledgeRED are extremely important to raise awareness among the youth about the need for voluntary blood donation.” concluded Anubha Taneja-Mukherjee, member-secretary, TPAG.