Jun 30, 2008

BADHAN, A voluntary blood donors’ organization Of the Students, By the Students, For the People in Bangladesh

Thousands of patients die in our beloved country only for shortage of Blood …shortage of FRESH Blood, every single year. The nightmare for the rush and hunt for a bag of clean fresh haunts them who suffered, those who needed Blood for him/herself or for his/her relatives or for his /her nearest one. Badhan is extending the helping hands for all in need for fresh blood only voluntarily.

The esteemed dream of this organization is to create such a society where thousands of graduate/post graduate level students would be 'all time feel free' to donate FRESH Blood instantly for the patients and thus endeavoring the ‘safe save’ of thousands of endangered lives around the country. Since the establishment, it is working with own spirit and ideology despite many hitherto starting up difficulties. In course of time and mass support from the fellow members and activists, it is, of course now among the leading humanitarian organizations in Bangladesh. It is the biggest voluntary organization working in our educational institutions.

We have to go back 10 years in the timeline from now to know about the inception of Badhan. The nimbus of Badhan started from the tiny corner of Shahidullah Hall of the University of Dhaka in 1997. On 24th October, 1997 the first committee was formed which consisted of 27 members and the first free blood grouping test was done. One may ask why it was started from Shahidullah Hall. Why not other halls? If you visit Dhaka Medical College (DMC) you will see that it only takes few minutes walk to reach Shahidullah Hall and Fazlul Haq Hall from DMC. The relatives of the admitted patient sometimes came to these halls from DMC to ask for help as these two halls were very near from the hospital. The students of these two halls donate blood on their own by the request of patient’s relatives. Shahidul Islam Ripon, the mastermind behind the concept of Badhan felt that there should be some organized way to help the distressed people, to motivate more students for donating blood and then Badhan started its work.

By 2000, all the halls of DU came under its operation, Amar Ekushey and Fazilatunnesa Mujib Hall came under operation from 2001. Then this concept was spreaded among other educational institutions. By 2000 BUET, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Carmichael College Rangpur started operation. Then Dhaka College, Bangladesh College of Leather Technology, Tangail Sadat College and Govt. College Rangpur started operation in corresponding areas.

Can you imagine every year thousands of patients die in our beloved country Bangladesh only for shortage of blood, shortage of Fresh and Safe Blood? We only need around 400,000 bags of Blood every year. Minimum 20 million of our population (Out of 140 Million) is fit both physically and medically and capable to donate blood thrice a year! If only 0.02% of this population donates Blood only once per year, our Blood demand would be fulfilled!! If only 0.01% of the capable population donates twice a year it could result the same! (A capable person can donate three times per year!!) We are so unfortunate nation that we are failing to achieve this easy goal for the lack of Proper awareness & Social movement and for some illogical unreasonable fear and superstitions about donating blood.

Badhan’s ultimate aim is that nobody will die without blood in Bangladesh. To make the dream true the members are working mainly in five ways:
a) To motivate young generation specially graduate and post graduate level students to donate FRESH Blood on voluntary basis on a regular intervals
b) To find and match available donors for patients and arrange specific FRESH donations for the specific patients.
c) To take measures for eradicating superstitions and other obstacles hinders voluntary FRESH Blood donation. (Such as to inform blood group on free basis for all, to stop blood trading by professional donors and some commercial blood banks)
d) To take other measures for sound health of our voluntary Blood donors to ensure safest Blood for the patients (such as vaccination and health awareness program)
e) To help other organization/institutions working or intended to work in this field.
Besides the above major activities, Badhan always responds quickly in any emergency of suffering humanity like flood, cold waves etc.

For better working and management Badhan devides its operation into unit, zone and central committee

Halls, Colleges are the functional units. We have unit executive committees and activists who maintain a network in respective halls or colleges and through this network of person-to-person communication they search and match FRESH and SAFE blood donors for patients instantly.

Halls of the same public university form a zone to maintain internal relationship and to regulate the units. Each zone has executive committee, members of zonal committee comes from units, three from each unit (one zonal representative and president & secretary of hall unit by default).

Badhan has central committee headed by central president and secretary. Four members of each zonal committee (two central representative and president & secretary by default) make the central committee.
All of the members of any executive committee have to be current students.

Independent Unit:
The units those are not within any zone are independent units and they are regulated and maintained directly by central committee. These units have central observers in central committee to coordinate with them.

Advisor, Honorable member, Special member:
The organization has Advisors, Honorable members who are selected from senior and ex-workers. Each executive committee has advisors and special members are those who were not directly involved but have been giving continuous support.

The organization is working among the graduate and postgraduate level students i.e. within the Universities and Postgraduate colleges in the country. Now it consists of 5 zones, 10 independent units and 7 paribar (units/zones which are under observation of Central Committee), these are as follows


Dhaka University
Bangladesh Agriculture University
Jahangir Nagar University
Rajshahi University

Independent Units:

Rangpur Carmichael College
Bangladesh College of Leather Technology
Rangpur Govt. College
Dhaka College
Tangail Sadat College
Jessore M.M College
Dinajpur Govt. College
Bogra Azizul Huq College
Rajshahi Govt. College
Kurigram Govt. College

Paribar (Family)

Sher-E-Bangla Agriculture University
Khulna University
Jagannath University
Bangla College
Titumir College
College of Textile Technology
Ananda Mohon College

Badhan is working in the important educational institutions in the country. Public universities and post graduate colleges having hostel facilities nearby hospitals or medical institution is the target area. First of all it tries to find some students of a particular institution who are energetic, sacrificing and intending to serve the society. Then it makes a group with them. This group started to motivate others to donate FRESH Blood and with the help of other fellows of Badhan create a database of all students of the institution/hostel/hall. If it is found that major portion of the students do not know their blood group, then it arranges free blood grouping program with the permission and help of the administration of the institution.

Once the database is made, Badhan fellows create a network of personal communication with probable donors, motivate them and match donors for specific patients. Once the system is switched on, some Badhan workers can memorize the blood groups of his surrounding fellows, their last date and next date of donations! These information are also maintained in black and white. They also use computers to make the database more effective.

All the year round Badhan fellows continuously motivating possible donors by man-to-man contact, by arranging motivational program etc. in most of the institutions Badhan fellows are known as Roktochosa (Blood Sucker) or Vampire, Dracula, etc for their constant search of blood!!

Medical institutions know these volunteers addresses and refer patients to them for Blood.

Moreover Badhan fellows arrange vaccination program for Hepatitis-A, Hepatitis-B, Typhoid, and Tetanus and also organize some other health related awareness program like awareness about Blood transmitted diseases, about Breast cancer etc. For safe blood you need safe donor and these program help to create safe donor.

Safe Blood is the one that doesn’t harm the receiver and the donor as well, is free from infective agents or other harmful agents. In a general sense blood from a person bearing sound health having no infection/infectious deceases that have ideal percentage of blood components may be considered as safe blood. All blood is tested before transfusion for infective agents.

Motivation and awareness are the keys for voluntary blood donation. Badhan emphasizes a lot on motivation. It organizes free grouping test with the intention of mass awareness. The workers believe that if anyone comes to them for blood grouping the motivation team might motivate that person for donating blood. So in 2004 they tested blood group of around 24,000 people. In 2005 the no. increases to about 35,000. Keep in mind this test has been free of cost. Badhan is the only organization in Bangladesh that does grouping test free.

The no. of bags donated in 2004 was 10,300 (aprox.) in 2005 it was 17,000 bags (aprox.). These are the no. that has been registered in the database of Badhan, but it does not reflect the original no. of donation in which the donors were motivated by Badhan. Sometimes the motivated donors donate blood on their own; this type of donation is not included in the database. So the actual no. of donation made, motivated by Badhan is way above the countable figure.
Unlike the others working in the field of Blood transfusion, Badhan works with her own pace and passionate in organizing the donation of fresh blood. It's better to transfuse blood as early as possible after collection. However it takes one to several hours to make some necessary examinations, which are prerequisite for transfusion. It's better to use fresh blood for all kind of
operations and other requiring situations. For performing heart surgery, kidney dialysis, cesarean operation, and Fresh blood is a must. For Dengue patients, Thalassemea patient, patients with hemophilia must use fresh blood. Now a day in our country fresh blood is more preferable in all cases to stored Blood. According to various medical researches fresh blood is much better in all cases than stored blood. This is why Badhan is working for fresh blood only.

If you need blood for your patient do not hesitate to ask for Badhan’s help. Its volunteers will try their level best to get your desired blood. But there is an important matter; you have to come with the blood requisition form duly signed by the physician / Hospital personnel. You can come to any unit of the organization. You don’t need to know the address of volunteers, just come to the Hall / Colleges near you and ask anyone to find Badhan members or volunteers. Most of the units have notice boards at the main gate mentioning the addresses of the volunteers.

Moreover Badhan’s Central and Dhaka University Zonal office at TSC, Ground floor, Dhaka University is regularly opened from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm everyday. You can feel free to go to any unit or to central office for get assistance or to know about it.

Whenever someone comes to ask for blood, Badhan workers search their database for possible donors, if found then they were asked if he/she can donate right now? Sometimes donor were not near, or ill etc, If any body agrees to donate then he/ she was told to go to the hospital to meet the patients relative or attendant. Almost in every situation the donor did not know the person before to whom he/she donates blood. They donate blood to the patient irrespective of culture, religion, age. The only motive works is to respond the call of humanity.

This is a huge organization and financing is necessary to conduct its operation. There are various sources. The sources are member’s contribution, ex-members / advisors donations, Hall / College / University administrations financial assistance, other persons / organizations donation through advisors, advertisement in the yearly souvenir, vaccination programs. All of the funds are utilized in the regular programs i.e. for free blood grouping motivational programs and for other administrative expenses. Many of its units have no fund indeed. Other units / zones / Central committee always expand aiding hand for those units to finish a program. Sometimes even zone and central committee is out of fund. That time units who have little fund help zone / central to perform a program. Badhan is very clear in its source of fund and its expenditure.

Although fresh blood donation and motivation for donation is the prime activity, Badhan always response in the call of suffering humanity, Such as flood affected people. During the flood in 1998 Badhan was a very small organization but in spite of many difficulties it took steps to distribute relief materials among flood affected people around Dhaka city as well as among the people of remote areas like Laksam, Comilla moreover Badhan volunteers worked voluntarily in various food making, saline packaging program of various organization.

Considering the emergency during the devastating flood in 2004 initially its volunteers worked in various food-making project of other organization in DU & BUET campus. As flood situation further worsened, Badhan decided to start a large-scale relief activity by us. Though it did not enough financial strength but have commitment. Each of its unit, zones and workers are called to participate to relief fund. It had a relief campaigning tent in its TSC office (during the flood period). People of all classes of the society responded spontaneously. With this fund it distributed relief in Rupgonj upazilla, Ullapara, Sirajgonj, Manikgonj. Moreover volunteers took part in the saline project of Dhaka University Authority.

By this time Badhan had a successful communication with “SpaandanB” (for more visit ) & Japan-Bangla Group (for more visit of the organization worked with Badhan in distributing relief among distressed people and rehabilitation program. Successful rehabilitation program has been done on Manikganj and Lalmonirhat More over some other organizations gave lot of financial & medical support in the flood related activities.

Since its establishment in 1997, Badhan fellows are dreaming for a modern high-tech Blood transfusion Center with the facilities of blood Banking, Transfusion, Blood-aphaeresis (Cell / Component separation).And every thing related to safe and fresh blood transfusion. On 2 September, 2006 the dreamt 'Badhan Transfusion Center (BTC) ' was inaugurated in TSC (DU) Badhan Office on experimental basis with the financial assistance of “SpaandanB”. The main reasons behind BTC are

1) Most of the donors donate blood in various hospitals, Blood centers, etc. Services provide by govt. hospital blood banks are far lower than standard. Those are hectic, time consuming and some times the donors have to go far away more than three/ four hours to donate. On the contrary private blood centers are very costly for poor patients.

2) Badhan wants to centralize its donation system for better service.

3) It wants a Blood transfusion center, not a conventional blood Bank. Badhan doesn’t want long time preservation of blood rather wants very short time storage system. Only for the donors to donate fast. Blood donated by the donors will be examined, sealed as transferable crosshatched with patients and then deliver within a short period.

The future plan of Badhan is to spread its activities in all over the country. It will work until it reaches and maintain the goal which is “No one dies in crisis of blood”. This organization also ready to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Bangladesh, World Health Organization (WHO) and other organizations regarding working in the field of voluntary blood donation, motivation and any other humanitarian work. Its army of volunteers is ready to work in any place under any circumstances for sake of humanity. It also requests the media both electric and print to motivate people by their own means. Badhan believes that the concerned government agencies should undertake measures to discourage selling of blood by professional sellers. This would help bring down the rates of infection among the patients who are often deceived by some corrupt staff of hospitals all over the country.

Donation of blood is a gesture of goodwill and care for the fellow human beings. There is no gift more valuable than a Gift of Blood, as it is actually a Gift of Life for the person who receives it.

Please be a voluntary donor. You can either donate blood directly for specific patient through us or at a blood center or at any of the mobile donor session organized by the blood service.

If you are yet to donate blood, just think that as many times you denied doing so, as many Mothers / Fathers / Sisters / Brothers / Beloved heavenly Babies died!!! Died only for shortage of one bag of blood, which you could easily donate! Think and take speedy decision, heavenly decision for a noble humanitarian job, decision to save a life, decision to save a family, decision to give some extra moments to a human being, decision to serve the society, decision to serve the suffering humanity!

So Badhan’s urge to you if.......
You haven't donated Blood yet,
You are a graduate/ post graduate level student or
Your have already completed your tenor of studentship and your age is not over 55 years &
You have no physical or medical obstacle to donate Blood
Please donate one bag of blood for the suffering humanity, for thousands of patients who are searching for Blood, Fresh Blood.
Remember you can not create a person, only almighty can, but you can give a new a life to person that is not much less than creating.
Sazzad said...

Glad to see about Badhan. Thanks a lot. -Sazzad Hossain, advisor, Badhan, carmichael college unit, Rangpur.

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