Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
26 Apr, 2020 | 5:28 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions imposed to counter its spread, the National Blood Transfusion Service has introduced a facility for qualified donors to donate blood at selected blood centres across the island.
“Due to the current situation in the country, the National Blood Transfusion System is facing a challenge in collecting blood to maintain the smooth run of blood transfusion services across the country; as majority of the mobile campaigns conducted under usual conditions are now limited, due to restrictions on public gatherings due to COVID-19,” told Dr. Lakshman Edirisinghe, the Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service to News 1st on Sunday (26th April).
Dr. Edirisinghe, said two hotlines: 011 533 2153 and 011 533 2154, and an “Online Donor Pre-registration Platform” have been devised, to encourage potential donors to engage in this process.
“The hotlines are active right throughout the day and upon calling interested donors can place a pre-arranged appointment to visit the blood transfusion centres, to donate blood,” said Dr. Edirisinghe; further adding that after placing an appointment an automatically generated text message will be sent to the respondents, “that can be used as a facilitation process to get through security forces to visit blood centres.”
According to Dr. Edirisinghe there is a cluster system of Blood Banks to facilitate blood donations from qualified donors across the country; where they can visit to donate blood, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm after placing an appointment.
Ragama Hospital, Kalubowila Hospital, National Blood Centre in Narahenpita, Jaffna Teaching Hospital, Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital, Kandy Teaching Hospital, Badulla Provincial Hospital, Monaragala Base Hospital, Chilaw Base Hospital, Puttalam Base Hospital, Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, Gampaha Base Hospital and Karapitiya Teaching Hospital are among some of the salient Blood Transfusion Centres in the country.
Emphasizing on the significance of continuing with donation of blood even against the backdrop of COVID-19, Dr. Edirisinghe said there are vital components in society like Thalassemia and Cancer patients who require blood transfusions for survival.
“At this critical juncture because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a special responsibility to maintain adequate stocks of blood, especially to facilitate the high demand for blood and blood components for Thalassemia, Lymphoma, Leukemia patients and also patients undergoing treatment for cancer, as their survival depends on this,” said Dr. Edirisinghe.
Those who had not travelled overseas during the last three months, and those who do not display symptoms of fever, cough and cold are considered as eligible donors.
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