26th annual black history month–Héma-Québec calls on women in Black communities to give blood

Montréal, February 17, 2017–On the occasion of the 26th edition of Black History Month, Héma-Québec would like to emphasize how essential contributions from Québec’s Black communities are to the public blood supply. The various initiatives and efforts implemented in recent years to further engage these communities in this regard have helped recruit more than 4,500 new blood donors.

This year, Héma-Québec specifically urges women in these communities to learn more about blood donation and to take part in a program designed to allow a greater number of donors to be eligible to give blood on a regular basis.

Since August 2015, this program has resulted in 292 donations and a 34% increase in the number of donations by women who had previously been refused because of a hemoglobin level below the usual limit. Accepting these new donors will help Héma-Québec be more effective in meeting blood supply needs for conditions that specifically affect Black communities.

Women interested in learning more and registering for the program can do so through the Héma-Québec Web site (www.hema-quebec.qc.ca), under Blood > Learn more > Blood donation and cultural communities > Black women and blood donation.

Héma-Québec: One for all, and all for one

The ABO blood groups are the same for all human beings, but there are other blood types to take into account as well. People who require frequent transfusions are more likely to develop a reaction. This risk can be greatly mitigated by using blood from donors with a similar genetic background.

An example of this is people living with sickle cell anemia, the treatment protocol for which involves regular transfusions. It is therefore important to diversify the blood supply so that it is representative of all of the communities present in the population.

Black History Month is an ideal opportunity to remind the population that Québec needs more donors from all communities on an ongoing basis.

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 18, 2017. 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. Donors from all horizons are invited to demonstrate their solidarity with their brothers, cousins and neighbors, 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; and to develop and provide expertise and specialized, innovative services in the field of human biological products.

Héma-Québec encompasses 1,300 employees, over 300,000 donor visits to blood drives per 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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