Srinagar: Plasma donation campaign has gained momentum in Kashmir with hundreds of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 coming forward to save the lives of those seriously ill because of it.
Official figures reveal that of the 26,000 cases, as many as 17,000 people have recovered in the last five months. Over 500 people have died due to the infection.
Several people and groups have come forward to help the needy patients with plasma. Leading the campaign is Dr Saleem Wani, a renowned urologist at SKIMS, who through his social media handles is encouraging recovered people to donate plasma.
Dr Wani, who was himself a Covid-19 patient took the lead by donating his plasma to a patient who later recovered fully.
“It is our moral obligation to help patients who are in need of plasma. The patient I donated my plasma has recovered. It has eased my pain and anguish. In the absence of a vaccine, this is an established form of treatment. I appeal to everyone who has recovered to donate plasma for the sake of humanity,” the doctor said.
Many social and religious groups have launched pick-and-drop service for the recovered patients to encourage them to donate plasma.
SRO Batamaloo and Coronavirus Watch Jammu and Kashmir have launched dedicated service for the recovered patients.
“We would earlier provide PPE kits to doctors and ration for poor families. Later when COVID-19 cases surged, we shifted our focus on identifying plasma donors and arrange pick and drop for them,” said Sajad Hussain Yatoo, a member of Anjuman Sharie Shian, which is at the forefront of helping patients.
Head, Department Transfusion and Immuno-Haematology at SKIMS Dr Rumana Hamid told The Kashmir Monitor that there has been an overwhelming response from recovered patients for plasma donation.
“Response of people has been enormous. There has been not a single patient who has suffered due to the non-availability of plasma. Some were disappointed when tests found them ineligible for donating plasma,” she said.
Dr Rumana said that so far around 120 plasma donations have been recorded at SKIMS alone.
“People have been traveling on bikes from far-flung areas to donate plasma. The response is such that some want to donate blood for the patients,” she said.
Aijaz Ahmad, a recovered COVID-19 patient from Sonium Pattan is among 120 people who donated plasma last month. “I had pledged to donate plasma and finally it happened. I also appeal to other recovered patients to donate plasma and save the lives of people,” he said.