Blood banks run out of HIV kits
Atoy State Mumbai: After a blood crisis, several banks in the city have now been hit by a shortage of testing kits for HIV/AIDS. In the absence of testing kits, blood that has been collected from donors cannot be utilized for patients.
The public blood banks in the city get their testing kits from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), which purchases them centrally. In November, most blood banks have not received their supply and are scrambling to make last-minute purchases locally.
It is feared that the existing shortage of blood in the city may be aggravated by the lack of testing kits as even if blood is collected it cannot be given to patients without cer- tifying it as infection-free.
Staffers from several blood banks, including Cama and Albless, St George, GT, have confirmed that they have run out of testing kits. Dean of Parel’s KEM Hospital Dr Avinash Supe said that since the kits have not come, they have purchased locally.
The Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) distributes kits on behalf of the NACO to the city blood banks. Supe said, “MDACS has not provided us kits. We have made purchases and have adequate stock now,” he said. KEM’s blood bank collects over 12,000 units of blood annually, the highest in the city. Dr Shrikala Acharya, assistant project director of the MDACS, confirmed that the kits have not arrived from NACO.