Blood banks run out of HIV kits

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY -

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.

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