Black History Month – Héma-Québec reiterates its call for new blood donors from Black communities

Montréal, February 15, 2018 – The 2018 edition of Black History Month is an opportunity for Héma-Québec to underscore the vital support of blood donors from Black communities. These communities are especially affected by sickle cell anemia, an inherited blood disease that requires treatment with numerous transfusions at regular intervals. Consequently, donors and recipients must share a similar genetic background.

ABO blood groups are the same in all human beings, but there are also other blood groups. This needs to be taken into account to avoid transfusion reactions in persons that receive frequent transfusions. In this situation, a donor must be found who matches the recipient for these other blood groups. The probability of finding such a donor increases if the donor and the recipient are from the same ethnic background.

The various initiatives put in place since 2009 to mobilize donors from Black communities have been successful: more than 6,000 new blood donors have been recruited through these efforts. In spite of these encouraging results, however, increasing the diversity of the donor pool remains a constant challenge.

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 17, 2018. 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 St., 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 quality blood and other biological products of human origin.

Héma-Québec encompasses 1,300 employees, nearly 165,000 blood donors, more than 2,000 mobile blood drives per year across Québec, thousands of volunteers and more than 300,000 blood products delivered annually to Québec hospitals to meet the needs of patients.

Give blood. Give life.

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