With the year 2013 coming to an end, yet another volume of Sankalp Patrika will wind up being archives and a legacy of the change it has been trying to bring in the blood banking scenario across Karnataka. As Sankalp Patrika enters 4th year of publication, this is a good time to recollect the good and the bad, the highs and the lows of the journey we have had together in the previous year.
January's edition opened with a question - "Do you really care for the cause of India?" It was a time when the country - at-least the urban part - was enraged. The emotions were simmering. The nation was up against the wrong doings and the youth were taking the lead. Videos from India Gate and Raisina Hills showed fearless young people willing to suffer the blows of lathis, water cannons and teargas shells all for one thing - to get the people on the top to do what is right. We wished for all of this energy in each individual to get channelized into long term sustained efforts, beyond the streets, with deep intent followed by active action shaping a better country. The edition also included an in-depth analysis on transporting blood over long distances. The constraints, shipping the unit by courier, air travel, and other means were covered with their individual pros and cons. The edition also included an article by Dr Shivram C encouraging women donors to undergo Platelet Apheresis.
"Camp on Wheels" was February edition's primary focus. Not only blood mobile was a dream to many of our volunteers, it also meant newer responsibilities. We organized the first drive in a blood mobile on 9th-10th Jan 2013. More drives in blood mobile were conducted in subsequent months. The month's Patrika also included a well researched FAQ on Hemolytic Transfusion Reactions. The Patrika received good feedbacks for the analysis.
On 23rd February 2013, Sankalp organized for 3 units of Bombay phenotype for a critical patient receiving treatment at Istanbul University, Turkey. The March edition of Patrika covered a detailed report on what Bombay Group is and how this feat was accomplished. The Bombay group saga was supported by an article on our experience with Bombay group, which was presented as a talk in ISBTI Karnataka's annual CME at VIMS Bellary on 23-34 February 2013. The edition included a research paper on Hydroxyurea, which was proven to be an effective alternative for transfusions for Thalassemia. Similar to January edition's article on 1971 war, the March edition included an article on the 1999 Kargil War.
April's edition took a hard stand of dissent from the generally accepted norm of replacement. We, for the first time in print, went loud against how replacement donation demotivate donors from donating voluntarily when they get an opportunity. We requested blood banks and donors to work towards its abolishing. Also, since summers were at the door step, the edition included an article on how blood banks can prepare themselves for the predicted shortage. The April Patrika also included a Know India section on the spectacular living root bridges of Meghalaya, and how man can exist in harmony with nature. A newspaper article on how Sickle Cell disease is killing the tribals and dalits in Madhya Pradesh was included.
May's Patrika revolved around the completion of 10 years of Sankalp. While it invited readers to join the celebration in the auditorium of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, it also included a long article on our's journey for the past 10 years. The edition also included an article written by a volunteer expressing his feelings on the world Thalassemia day. A research paper on types of exchange transfusion was also included. This article focused on the technical aspects of Single volume exchange transfusion, Double volume exchange transfusion, Exchange transfusion for sickle cell disease, Partial exchange transfusion for polycythaemia, Exchange transfusion in malaria, Replacement fluids; along with procedural details.
14th June, 2103 was celebrated as the World Blood Donors's Day. June's edition of Patrika took a moment out to express heartfelt gratitude to each and every blood donor who had stood by us in the past 10 years. It also included the long awaited annual report of Sankalp's performance in the year 2012-13. Similar to April Patrika's stand against replacement donation, in this Patrika, we took a hard stand against the established norm of blood banks promising free blood in return to blood donors. We tried to explain in an article on how it destroys the essence of voluntary blood donation and how the real needy suffer in the process. It also included an article by Dr Sunder Periyavan on people with different levels of diabetes, cholesterol, and blood blood pressure; and whether or not they can donate blood. The edition also included a research paper on the real issues confronting the Bone Marrow transplants in India, and how more children suffering from Thalassemia can go for the procedure.
July's edition of Sankalp patrika was focused on the voluntary blood donors who come up during camps and help fight shortage. It also included a report on the World Blood Donor's Day celebration programme organized by Karnataka State Blood Transfusion Council' and 'Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society', where Sankalp India Foundation was felicitated in recognition towards enhancing the condition of blood situation in Karnataka. The Patrika edition also included a report on the Workshop on Bone Marrow Transplantation organized by Sankalp and Cure2Children in Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health. Dr Lawrence, the Medical Director Cure2Children Foundation, Italy was the guest speaker. The programme was attended by specialists involved in Bone Marrow Transplant from St Johns Medical College, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Kidwai Institute of Oncology, BGS Global Hospital, HCG Hospital, MVJ Medical College and Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health.
As the nation celebrated it's 67th Independence day, the August Patrika urged its readers to stop sitting idle in their cages and break free. Change comes from action and the August edition celebrated this spirit of life. The edition included an article on medicines; consumption of which are commonly accepted in blood donors. It also included a report of the third Bombay Blood Group meet organized by Sankalp in NIMHANS.
The month of August was special for us, and so was the September edition of Patrika. On 24 August 2013, a new Thalassemia day care center - 'Project Samraksha' an initiative of Rashtrotthana Parishat supported by Sankalp India Foundation was inaugurated. Mrs. Shobha Tuli (Vice President of Thalassemia International Federation), Dr Mamata Mangalani (Prof. and Head, Dept. of Pediatrics, LMT General Hospital, Mumbai) and Mr Vinay Shetty(Vice President, Think Foundation, Mumbai) graced the occasion with their kind presence along with other distinguished guests, parents, donors and volunteers. Additionally, protocols for adverse reaction handling in blood donation camps were introduced.
The October edition of Patrika was centered around the National Voluntary Blood Donation Day Celebration in Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore on 1st October 2013. The intent was to increase participation for the youth and to guide the young volunteers teams who spearhead the voluntary blood donation camps in their respective colleges. As Project Disha completed 7 years, an article on the team's journey so war was included.
November's Patrika focused on the question - "Are we selecting the right bone marrow donors?" We emphasized on the importance of mass awareness and need for reinforcing the message, choice of potential donors and how to approach them. The edition included an article on our experience with the rise and fall of blood stocks throughout the year. It primarily focused on the Rakta Kranti team's efforts and experience in regularizing the blood supply in Bangalore. The incidence report presented by the Emergency Wing focused on how 13 Bombay Group requests for 16 units were handled in one month. An article was also included celebrating the work of over 23 lakh volunteers who traveled across India and helped India become a Polio free country.
Come 2014, as we walk towards another year of revolution and change, we are thrilled to announce the 4th volume of Sankalp Patrika, the proponent of change we all want to be. Here's wishing you a very happy and meaningful new year, a year with much more to do. Much more to share.