CUMILLA: People rush to the blood bank only when critically ill patients need emergency blood. But the blood bank of Cumilla Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) has been accused of trading in life-saving blood.
Ordinary people now have to go to the brokers for the negative group blood in Cumilla Medical College Hospital. There are allegations that the brokers are trading in the negative blood group in collaboration with the officials and employees of the blood bank.
According to Cumilla Medical College Hospital sources, 13,027 bags of blood were collected in 2019 at the blood bank located at Cumilla Medical College Hospital. In 2020, 11,773 bags of blood were collected.
Four and a half thousand bags of blood have been collected till May this year. Most of the blood donors are members of various voluntary organisations. Even then, ordinary people have to rely on brokers for negative blood.
According to multiple sources, the relatives of the patients go to the blood bank in need of blood, but from there they are given the mobile phone numbers of the brokers without giving blood. This practice has been going on for the last three years.
Brokers negotiate with the patients and relatives to supply blood. Although the brokers sell blood, the people of the blood bank get a big share of the money.
Each bag of blood is sold for two to three thousand taka. It has been observed many a times that the blood is given to patients without cross-matching. Brokers charge between Tk 3,000 and Tk 4,000 per bag of blood for A-negative, AB-negative and O-negative blood. Zubaida Yasmin Mumu, president of `BADHAN' Cumilla Victoria Government College Unit, a voluntary blood donors' organisation, said most of the patients who come to Cumilla from rural areas do not have the right idea about blood collection.
Several groups of drug addicts from Cumilla sell blood to them. Blood of the negative group is not readily available. They use that opportunity more. Apart from Cumilla Medical College and Hospital, we have received news of this syndicate in three big hospitals of the Cumilla city, she added.
Cumilla Sadar (General) Hospital Senior Consultant Dr Md Zahirul Haque said almost all blood sellers are drug addicts. There is a risk of death if the blood purchased from drug addicts and brokers is transmitted to the patients' body.
Asked about this, the director of Cumilla Medical College and Hospital Dr Mohiuddin said, "People will donate blood for the welfare of the people, there can be no financial transactions. We will investigate the matter. Besides, strict action will be taken against those involved in the incident if specific allegations are received."