The need for blood is vital and universal, therefore ensuring the safety and availability of blood and blood products is an indispensable public health responsibility. Generation of accurate and essential data from blood banks at regular intervals is imperative not only to develop evidence based programmes and policies but also to effectively monitor the progress, gaps and challenges in terms of blood transfusion services to ensure universal access to safe and quality blood.
In this context, CMAI in collaboration with CDC, CMC, Vellore, NACO and National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare conducted an assessment of all the blood banks in the country. The assessment included 2,626 blood banks across the country excludingthe military blood banks.This assessment seeks to provide evidence for the formulation of future policies and programs to strengthen blood transfusion services in India. It captured most of the required information related to the structure, services, facilities, availability of human resources, equipment, quality management system and practices in blood banks across the country. All blood banks in India function subject to obtaining and maintaining a license for operations from the FDA which means compliance to basic quality standards mentioned in the Drugs and cosmetic act and rules. However, this assessment brought out specific gaps and possible opportunities to improve quality standards in Transfusion Services at the state and national level.
For the first time, a quality score system has been created and applied to the blood banks studied. This review indicated a mean score of 62% with significant variations across the category of blood banks, ownership, voluntary blood donation, participation in proficiency testing (EQAS) and accreditation status. The assessment also found a huge variation between states and within states on several parameters included in the assessment. This suggests the need for targeted and customized approach to address the gaps and challenges faced by the blood banks in the country.
The national report was disseminated by Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare on the occasion of World AIDS Day, 2016. Further,state wise individual reports of all the states and union territories were generated. On 23rd August 2017, eight state reports – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura were releasedby Shri Sanjeeva Kumar, Additional Secretary and Director General, NACO, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, during the North-East Regional Review Meeting, held in Shillong, Meghalaya.