Urging people to donate blood more often, Harsh Vardhan said: "Regular blood donors, according to medical researches, are 80 percent less prone to diseases like heart attack, cancer etc".
The minister was the first volunteer to donate blood at the National Seminar on Promotion of Voluntary Blood Donation held at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital here.
It was organised by the Department of AIDS Control in association with the State Blood Transfusion Council, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals and NGO Blood for All (B4A).
Harsh Vardhan further said that in the next one or two years, every district in the country will have a blood bank. He requested all healthy citizens to donate blood at least four times a year.
R.N. Makroo, director and senior consultant, department of transfusion medicine at Apollo hospital, said, "It was disheartening to note that as against the requirement of about 10-11 million units of blood, the annual collection in India is a only 8.5-9 million units."
"The percentage of voluntary blood donation is just 70 percent and most of it is one time voluntary blood donation," he said.