We have been struggling with this pandemic for almost 5 months now (though it feels like a 100). I think it’s time we accept that this is what the rest of our year is going to look like. 2020 shouldn’t be counted, it’s a waste. But, at the moment we have more pressing issues than our personal frustrations. India has over 6 lakh confirmed cases and it shows no signs of slowing down. The coronavirus is just running wild in our country. So, what are we going to do about this?
Recently, our country has developed a method of using plasma therapy to treat coronavirus patients. This treatment has been proven to be successful until now. However, there is a serious dearth in plasma donors. To combat that problem, India got its first plasma bank. It was inaugurated in Delhi at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) by CM Arvind Kejriwal. The hope is that this plasma bank will make it easier for the patients to find compatible donors.
On Sunday, Delhi saw its first-ever female plasma donor. And now, she is urging more women to donate their “anti-body rich plasma” to help others and do their part in this fight against corona.
— The Sunday Standard (@Sunday_Standard) July 6, 2020
Bhumika Kohli, a 20-year-old journalism student is a resident of Rohini in north-west Delhi. She had tested positive for coronavirus on May 30. Her brother, Arpit Kohli had tested positive just days before her.
Both of them donated their plasma at the plasma bank in Delhi on Sunday. The bank coordinates with recovered patients who are eligible to donate their plasma.
Bhumika said that she was pleasantly surprised when the doctors told her she was the first female donor. She said “Many women hesitate to participate in such exercises. There is nothing to worry about and there should be no stigma. They should come forward to help the authorities fight the pandemic. They have an important role to play.” She further added, “The doctors gave me an appreciation certificate and asked me to record a video message to motivate others.”
— The Tribune (@thetribunechd) July 5, 2020
Bhumika said that AAP MLA Raghav Chadha inspired her and her brother to donate their plasma. Talking about the process, Arpit said, “We were given a pick-up and drop option. It was completely hassle-free. A few tests were conducted to ascertain if we were fit to donate plasma. The entire process took only 45 minutes.”
The brother-sister duo is already helping by spreading the word about plasma donations. They have managed to convince their friends who are also COVID 19 survivors to donate their plasma.
One of the main reasons that women are not being able to donate their plasma is because the eligibility criteria are very strict. Women who have been pregnant can’t donate their plasma because they develop a different kind of antibody. However, even though it’s difficult, it’s very important that Bhumika’s message is heard.
This is the need of the hour.