According to a World Health Organisation factsheet, “Of the 112.5 million blood donations collected globally, approximately half of these are collected in the high-income countries, home to just 19% of the world’s population.” For developing countries with low per capita income like India, the blood donation rate stands at a low 4.6 donations for every 1000 individuals. However, there might still be hope for us all. Technology and the zeal of pioneers have once again proven that everything is literally a click away, including blood. Simply Blood- World’s First Virtual Blood Donation Platform has made it possible for blood donors to directly connect with patients in the proximity of their geographical area or locality. This rules out the a big flaw in the system of private blood donation camps wherein a donor has no idea of the person to whom the donation is being made; thus, exponentially increasing the chances for black marketing and illegal sale of blood.
Kiran Verma, the founder of Simply Blood, lost his mother to Cancer at the age of six and dropped out of high school when he was a teenager. But, he fought on valiantly. After facing immense struggle and acquiring self-learnt skills, he joined a US based publishing firm and eventually went to head the corporate communications department at well-known university in Greater Noida. But, the sadness of her mother’s death always haunted and his angst was vented in the form of blood donations. He donated blood for first time when he turned 18 and has donated around 36 times till now. But, it was a suspicious donation on 28th December that changed it all.
Kiran received a call from an unknown person stating that someone required blood at a hospital in Delhi. After reaching the hospital and donating the blood, he decided to stay back and meet the patient. However, he could only meet the wife of the patient and he found out that she had actually sold herself to get her husband treated back at her place in Raipur and had even bought his blood for 1500 INR from an agent. The agent posed as the brother of the patient in front of Kiran. Shell shocked and unable to comprehend the enormity of monstrous network of black marketers that was webbed around blood donations, Kiran took a pledge to put an end to the practice of black marketing of blood. He quit his job and started working on the development of Simply Blood. After initiating the algorithm for the Application, he reached out to Achal Garg, the Android Team Leader of Tech Cruzers, who provided technical support.
Within just three months since its official launch on 29th January, the Simply Blood App has been downloaded more than 2000 times with a database of more than 4000 donors. Simply Blood has been able to connect blood donors with more than 200 patients across 7 countries. The criteria for blood donation followed by Simply Blood is in line with the general guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, which requires the donor to be of 18 years of age and has to be fit and healthy, amongst other parameters.
Anyone wishing to donate blood fitting within the general criteria is required to register on the App by specifying a particular date on which they would wish to donate and the area where they can donate. If there is a request for blood in that area on that particular day, the donor will be notified of the same. If a request for blood is filed and no potential donors are found online, then the request is further connected to their offline database of 60,000+ donors.
Simply Blood aims to save at least a million lives by 2020. They intend for the processing charge per blood donation to be around 10 paise from their side. And increasing the accessibility of blood manifold, Simply Blood has shown that lack of blood should not be a reason for someone’s death.
Contact Kiran Verma, the founder of Simply Blood here
PARTHABI KANUNGO | TOC
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