Dr Anju Verma, Chief Medical Officer, Rotary Blood Bank, New Delhi

Working for a mission which gives immense satisfaction professionally and as a human being is unparalleled. Seventeen years back a venture was started by esteemed Rotarians to provide blood to all who needed blood. It was started with a mission statement that nobody shall suffer for want of blood.

It still goes on at the Rotary Blood Bank in Delhi. The center is an initiative of Rotary district 3010 welfare society.

The blood is collected from 100 percent voluntary donors and issued without taking any replacement. The testing and processing is carried out with state-of-art equipment. Our vision is to expand it further.

Since the center has a very good blood donor base, it would be used to motivate our young donors so that they come forward and voluntarily register themselves as stem cell donors.

Blood stem cells, derived from peripheral blood of the donor, have the capacity to replace the recipient's abnormal stem cells with healthy ones correcting the problem at the root-level. A blood stem cell transplant can be done to treat many blood disorders such as leukemia, thalassemia, and aplastic anemia.

It is becoming extremely difficult to find a genetically matched donor and a database of willing blood stem cell donors is needed. If a donor is found to be genetically matched from the registry, a transplant can be done in a patient and it can be life-saving.

India needs more such registries. Regular donor drives across the country are required to increase awareness on blood stem cell donation. Our endeavor is to continue the mission with community participation which will be useful for the community.

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