The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5166.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 2:30 PM

Abstract #59610

Blood banking policy: Ensuring access and enhancing "quality"

Dileep Mavalankar, MD, DrPH, Public Systems Group, Indian Institute of Management, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad, 380015, India, (91)79-6307241,

The purpose of this presentation is to show how policies directed towards improving “quality” of blood banking, if not well thought out, can hamper access to blood in emergency situations thus compromising the right to life of women with complications of delivery. Hemorrhage is a leading cause of maternal death, and blood transfusion is a life saving measure. Unfortunately it is one of the most neglected areas of health services in developing countries. With the emergence of HIV/AIDS, more focus has been on blood safety as one of the strategies to prevent the spread of HIV. In response to directions by Supreme Court, the Government of India issued a new regulation specifying standards for licensing blood banks with an intention to improve its quality. This presentation analyzes this regulation and shows that certain infrastructure and staffing requirements intended to improve perceived quality of blood banking are in effect acting as barriers to setting up of new blood banks in rural and remote areas, thus decreasing the access to blood. Lack of blood in rural areas may contribute to delay in treatment and increasing risk of death. Thus this analysis shows that well intended blood banking policy is decreasing access to blood, which compromises women’s right to life, a basic human right. Since many developing countries are also contemplating new policies to ensure safer blood in wake of HIV epidemic, this analysis of India’s blood banking regulation will be useful to them.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Barriers to Care, Emergency Department/Room

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Rights-Based Approaches to Providing Emergency Obstetric Care

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA