Tibet Charity Blood Donors Club was started with the sole intention of providing blood for transfusions to patients at very short notice. Such a club is needed in the region because there is no blood bank in Dharamsala. The nearest blood bank is located around one hour’s drive from here but they will not give out blood unless a replacement donor is provided on the spot to replenish their supply.
Before we set up the Blood Donor’s Club, people in need of blood transfusions had no resource to turn to; they had to spread their request by word of mouth, or by putting up posters in public and even by standing at the side of the road holding a sign. There was of course no guarantee that they would find a suitable donor in time which put the patients’ lives at risk.
We created the resource that was lacking. We have compiled a database of available blood donors, people who are willing to go to the hospital at short notice and donate blood directly to the patients in need. Now patients and their families are saved the uncertainty of searching for a donor on their own. What’s more direct blood transfusions, those from person to person, are safer than transfusions that use stored supplies.
Our role is restricted to working as a bridge between donors and patients. Beyond this we are not involved in the collection or storage of blood, or in analyzing the blood for possible diseases. This is the responsibility of the hospital. They call us when a transfusion is needed and we send a suitable donor to the hospital. We look after the donors too; when necessary we provide the transport to get them to the hospital and any other support they might need.
Through this scheme we are also educating the local people about the benefits of donating blood and dispelling their fear about the health risks involved.
The Blood Donors Club was officially launched on 14th June 2012, World Blood Donor Day.
The Blood Donors Club is a simple, yet highly beneficial, idea which could benefit people at the community level in many countries. If you want to start your own scheme we will be glad to share our expertise with you.