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NHRC issues notice to state on blood banks

Cuttack: Taking cognisance of an application pertaining to precarious condition of Odisha blood banks, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has recently issued notices to the state government.

The Commission adjudicating over an application filed by a Puri-based social organisation has asked the State Chief Secretary and the Health Secretary to file reports on it within four weeks.

Quoting the recent CAG report, the application made by India Media Center has alleged that 68 out of 81 blood banks operating in Odisha do not have a proper license.

And, of these unlicensed blood banks, 46 are run by the state government alone. Among these 46 unlicensed government blood banks, 27 have been censured by the Drugs Controller of the State since long and they are still on the job without rectifying the shortcomings.

Also, a total of four such blood banks do not have facilities to test for HIV, hepatitis, and malaria. Yet, these blood banks have supplied as much as 24,673 units of blood to patients without proper testing between 1998 and 2001. All these startling facts came to light in the latest CAG report, said the application.

When the state government did not react to the findings of the CAG, a Puri-based social organization India Media Center, brought this to the notice of National Human Rights Commission seeking action against the erring blood banks by imposing a fine of Rs five lakh on each.

Taking cognisance of the application made by the managing trustee of the organisation, NHRC last week issued notices to the State Chief Secretary and health secretary to file reports on this within four weeks, said Trustees counsel Nishikanta Mishra adding blood banks in Odisha have turned into "death banks".

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