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Malaria: Héma-Québec modifies its blood donor selection criterion

Malaria: Héma-Québec modifies its blood donor selection criterion

Montréal, November 7, 2005 – Effective today, November 7, 2005, Héma-Québec modifies its blood donor selection criterion with respect to malaria. Héma-Québec has decided to re-evaluate the at-risk areas in the Dominican Republic as a result of the notice recently issued by the public health authorities concerned. Héma-Québec considers that the province of La Altagracia in the Dominican Republic, in particular the towns of Bayahibe, Romana, Punta Cana as well as tourist sites on the islands of Catalina and Saona, is a risk area for malaria.

Héma-Québec’s temporary or permanent exclusion criterion with respect to malaria applies to about 100 tropical and subtropical countries that the Québec blood products supplier keeps a list of. In some cases, only a few regions of those countries are concerned.

Thus, current and potential blood donors who travelled to these at risk-areas for malaria for less than three months must wait twelve months after their departure from the concerned area before they can give blood. Also, inhabitants or visitors coming from an area where malaria is endemic or those who have stayed there more than three months must wait three years after their departure from that region before giving blood. Finally, donors who had a phase of malaria or with a medical history of that disease can no longer give blood, for an unspecified period.

Blood donors affected by this criterion wishing to receive more information can call the Donor Services, at 1-800-847-2525, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. They can also visit Héma Québec’s Web site at www.hema-quebec.qc.ca.

Created in September 1998, Héma-Québec’s mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers; and to provide and develop expertise and services, along with specialized and innovative products, in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.

Give blood. Give life.

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