Sickle Cell Society
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Donating blood

Report reveals 'unfair survival odds' for BAME blood cancer patients due to lack of donor diversity…/news_2016_05_19.asp

This is an issue which affects sickle cell, too. Many people who live with sickle cell are black, and require repeated blood transfusions. The more transfusions you have, the better matched the blood needs to be, and different ethnic backgrounds don't always match as well. So, please give blood if you can, especially if you're not white. Your blood is needed to help keep people alive. If you have sickle cell trait, you CAN still donate blood.

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I have gone twice to donate blood and both times I've received letters afterwards telling me my blood is unusable and to please not come back.

These 2 donations were 4 years apart, with the last one just over a year ago, but both times, I was told I have malaria parasites in my blood which makes my blood unusable.

I was shocked by this as I haven't been outside of Europe in over 12 years. My cousin who is mixed race and has lived here with her mum for over 20 years was told the same.

So it seems if you were born in Africa and grew up there, there's no chance of you ever being able to donate blood in the UK.

This may account for why blood donation among Africans is very low.

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that's really interesting. did you have malaria or were you just in a region where you were exposed?

is there anything you can do to fully rid yourself of the parasites?

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I was born in Nigeria and lived there for years. I moved to the UK over 12 years ago and I haven't been back since. So I really don't understand how I can still have malaria parasites that could be harmful to others.

Same with my cousin who was born in the UK but constantly shuttled between UK and Nigeria until she was 16. After this, she rarely visited. She's almost 50 years old now and hasn't visited in about 20 years, but they say she still has malaria parasites too.

It's going to be pretty difficult to get blood off a lot of us except there's a way to get rid of malaria parasites.

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