- 1st such initiative by the Bank
- To open more such facilities in blood-deficient rural India -
Patna, Dec 09, 2011: In a first such initiative, HDFC Bank, the country’s second-largest private bank, has set up a Blood Storage Unit in Naugachia, Bhagalpur district. Till now, the entire district with a population of approximately 30.3 lakh had only one blood bank at the district headquarters. For the people of Naugachia, that meant travelling 35 km whenever there was an emergency blood requirement. The unit is operating out of the local Sub divisional Hospital, which is the only hospital located in Naugachia.
The Bank has been raising awareness about scarcity of blood in the country by organizing donation drives over the last few years. However, during these initiatives, it was observed that one needs to also focus on preserving blood in rural areas which do not have a storage facility. After a detailed survey to identify areas which lack medical infrastructure, the Bank zeroed in on Naugachia.
Although a Blood Storage Unit has limited storage capacity when compared with a blood bank, it becomes critical in a rural context since it is mandated to supply blood only in case of an emergency. This helps save time and lives since one does not have to rush to a faraway blood bank in a town.
Bhavesh Zaveri, Head, Operations, HDFC Bank, said: “Blood is precious, more so in our country which suffers from an acute demand-supply gap. Our annual pan-India blood donation drive is becoming bigger by the year in terms of the number of centres as well as units collected. The setting up of a storage unit is another step to ensure that people in Naugachia have immediate access to blood in an emergency situation. And this is just the beginning. We have a target to set up more such storage units in rural parts of the country. We are trying to put in place a holistic solution to blood shortage that affects the country’s poor.”