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May 16, 2015 - NAAT testing of donated blood in Maharashtra

The State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) of Maharashtra has approved a proposal for Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing of donated blood in 6 major blood banks in the government sector. The financial outlay for the testing Centres was included in the Project Implementation (PIP), and was approved by the Governng Board of the SBTC. The SBTC has initiated the process of implementing the proposal. Our Vice President is a Special Invitee, as a representative of NGOs, to the meetings of the Governing Board of the SBTC.


The Maharashtra State Aids Control Society presented a proposal for NAAT Testing, providing inputs on the implementation of the system in blood banks in the country, the need for upgrading testing sytems in Maharashtra, and the cost implication to the government. All members of the Governing Board of the SBTC agreed with the proposal


In the past, Think Foundation had presented the position of thalassaemia major patients in Mumbai who had contracted Hepatitis C. Data collected by Think Foundation indicates that 14% of thalassaemics are also living with Hepatitis C. Very obviously, this has happened due to transfusion of blood, which was going through a “window period”. The present ELISA system which is mandated by under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act for all blood banks in India, screens the blood for HCV Antibody. There clearly was a need to upgrade the testing methods, and make safe blood available to all recipients. 

In the second phase of introduction of NAAT testing, the SBTC plans to offer the facility to all other governmnet blood banks falling in the region of the NAAT Centres.