Blood donation – The contribution of the Black communities has increased significantly, but the need is still great

Montréal, February 1, 2016 – Héma-Québec is making an effort to reach out to more donors in the Black communities. More than 4,050 donors from these communities have responded to the appeal to date, rolling up their sleeves to contribute to the collective blood supply. This is a quantum leap in the number of donors, since only 200 donors from these communities were active in 2010. But the need is still great. The 2016 edition of Black History Month provides a good opportunity to remind people that, despite these encouraging results, there is still work to be done.

A human blood donation can save the life of another human being, regardless of skin color or ethnic origin. But since certain diseases require frequent transfusions, the chances of finding compatible blood donors are better in the case of donors of the same racial origin. As a result of this reality, Québec’s collective blood supply needs more donors from all communities, including the Black communities.

For this reason, for another year, Héma-Québec is joining its voice with that of Black History Month to promote the cause of blood donation. The Black communities are particularly affected by sickle-cell anemia, a hereditary blood disease, which may require numerous transfusions at regular intervals for treatment. “The collective blood supply concerns all citizens of Québec. Héma-Québec has a mission to provide blood products to hospitals and, ultimately, satisfy the specific needs of patients in all regions. It can only attain its objectives with the participation of all the communities, including the Black communities, in which the number of patients with specific transfusion needs has almost doubled since the start of the recruiting program,” explains Naderge Ceneston, Nurse and Development of Cultural Communities Advisor, at Héma-Québec. A program to screen for sickle-cell anemia in newborns, implemented in the regions of Montréal and Laval in November 2013, could generate an increase in the number of patients who will eventually need transfusions.    

Appeal for solidarity

As part of the activities planned for the month, a blood drive has been organized by the Table ronde du Mois de l’histoire des Noirs for February 20, 2016. Donors will be expected between 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Centre d’éducation des adultes, located at 2515 Delisle Street in Montréal. For their brothers, their cousins, their neighbors, the donors from all horizons are invited to demonstrate their solidarity by giving blood. For any questions concerning eligibility, call 1-800-847-2525.

About Héma-Québec

Héma-Québec’s mission is to efficiently meet the needs of the Québec population for safe, optimal-quality blood and blood products, human tissues, cord blood, mother’s milk and cellular products; to develop and provide expertise and specialized, innovative services in the field of human biological products. Héma-Québec encompasses 1,300 employees, more than 300,000 donor attendances on blood collection sites every year, 16,000 volunteers and more than 500,000 blood products delivered annually to Québec hospitals to meet the needs of patients.

Give blood. Give life.

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