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NACO - National AIDS Control Organisation
An Action Plan for Blood Safety
NACO - National AIDS Control Organisation, July 2003, 26 pp

"Improved blood safety has been a major achievement of the organized health care services in India. Amendments to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and the Rules, 1945 makes mandatory the universal screening of blood units for five transmissible infections: hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis and malaria. Blood banks may be set up only after obtaining a license from the competent authority, and this license must be renewed at regular intervals. 922 blood banks have been modernized in the public and voluntary sectors across the country. Equipment has been upgraded in government blood banking facilities, technical assistance facilitated, and diagnostic kits financed for HIV, HBV and HCV. Blood banks and blood storage centers are reaching most districts in India. In 2002, Government of India adopted the National Blood Policy which aims at ensuring easy accessibility and adequate supply of safe and quality blood and blood components collected from voluntary and non-remunerated blood donors. Nation-wide implementation of the strategies adopted called for a meticulous Action Plan. The Action Plan on Blood Safety brings about a paradigm shift in the management of organized blood transfusion services, providing for: the accreditation of blood banks; the revelation of status in respect of all transfusion transmitted infections (not permissible so far); a multi agency response, through partnerships between government, the Indian Red Cross Society, NGOs, the private sector, and others; the rational use of blood and blood products among clinicians, and; external quality control mechanisms for public sector blood banks."

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