Indian-American physicians launch national blood donation and stem-cell registration drive

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Members of AAPI’s leadership team pose for a photo at the Aug. 7, 2021 event announcing the launch of a national blood drive and stem-cell registration drive with the goal of reaching 75 cities to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. Photo: courtesy AAPI

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, AAPI, launched a national blood donation and stem cell registration drive Aug. 7, 2021.

Dozens of local AAPI Chapters initiated and organized the ‘Blood Donation Drives and Stem Cell Registration’ across the nation, in honor of the ‘Fallen Heroes of Covid-19’ according to a press release from AAPI.

President of AAPI Anupama Gotimukula, said the National AAPI Blood Donation Drives would be conducted in 75 cities to mark India’s 75 years as an independent nation.

“On the occasion of the 75thIndependence Day of India, we the physicians of Indian origin serving every 7th patient in the United States, are excited to launch this unique and noble initiative and Stem Cell Drive”  in 75 cities across the United States,” Dr. Gotimukula added.

The launch event was held in Chicago on August 7th under the leadership of Dr. Meher Medavaram, chair of AAPI’s Blood Donation Initiative. “Several cities that have organized the Blood Donation Drive, include Dayton (OH); Oakbrook village (IL); Ridgeland, Mississippi;  Dallas (Tx), and Columbus (SC). Dozens of other cities have planned to organize similar events across the nation in next few months,” Dr. Medavaram said.

Dr. Ravi Kolli, President-Elect of AAPI urged everyone to donate blood and become “heroes and life savers” and part of humanity as “one family, Vasudhaiva Kutubakam.”

A single donation can save three lives, Dr. Medavaram said, noting that blood is needed every two seconds.

Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused in the U.S. every year, the press release noted.

While not everyone is able to donate blood, Dr. Gotimukula pointed out that only 37 percent of the country’s population is able to donate blood. On why she and the AAPI leadership chose this as a priority, Dr. Gotiumuka said, “The 3rd Covid Wave is causing increased ICU admissions again. There is a dire need for blood. Your friends or family may need blood someday. And this noble cause helps save many lives.”

Several other leaders of AAPI, including Dr. Kusum Punjabi the chair of Board of Trustees of AAPI, Dr. Anjana  Samadder, vice president of AAPI, said, who herself has experienced the ordeal with Covid -19, Dr. Satheesh Kathula, secretary of AAPI, an oncologist keenly aware of the national blood shortage, and Dr. Krishan Kumar, treasurer of AAPI all stressed the need to come forward and donate blood.

The organization provided a contact for more details and to organize a Blood Donation Drive for anyone interested — AAPI Office Manager Vijaya Kodali, at: vkodali@aapiusa.org.

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