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African blood donors are needed

Different ethnic groups can carry rare blood types which are not found among other populations. At the moment more donors of African origin are needed in Finland.


Patients will primarily receive blood from their own blood group. In most cases the ethnic background of the donor doesn’t make a difference because the most important ABO and Rh blood types are the same for all people.

However, different ethnic groups can carry rare blood types or blood group combinations which are not found among other populations. In these cases, matching blood can only be found from a donor who shares the same ethnic background as the patient.  Also if the patient needs blood products repeatedly, a suitable donor may be found easier from the same population.

With the number of people and patients of African origin increasing in Finland, there aren't proportionally enough blood donors of African origin. The same challenge is facing many other European countries, too.

Blood products are given to patients of all ages, from the unborn to the elderly. Sickle-cell anaemia is more common amongst African than other ethnic groups, and these patients are treated with repeated blood transfusions. This means that the patients need large amounts of blood products repeatedly.

A child, Emille Nyembo, and his mother on a hospital bed.

Emille Nyembo, 2, from Oulu suffers from sickle-cell anaemia that has been treated with red blood cell exchange transfusions and a stem cell transplant. Read Emille's story.

Donating blood is safe and easy

Blood donation is a simple, safe and quick way to do good for others. One day it can save the life of your family member or friend. With one donation you can help three patients, because blood is divided into red cells, platelets and plasma. Read more here.

Check your nearest donation location.


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​Check this before donating:

Read about how blood is donated

Blood donors must be able to manage independently in either Finnish, Swedish or English without the help of a translator.

To donate you will need a Finnish ID code

Please bring a photo ID that includes your Finnish ID code along with you (passport, official identity card) or a driving licence. If you don't have a Finnish personal identity code on your ID you also have to bring an official document to verify it (e.g Kela card, or a certificate from a local register office, Digital and Population Data Services Agency or a tax office). Together they are a valid ID.

Note! If you are born or have lived in a malaria area before the age of 5, you will be tested for malaria antibodies at your first blood donation. Travelling in an area where malaria is endemic prevents you from donating blood for six months after returning from the trip. (Check the countries with malaria risk.)

If the result is negative you can continue donating blood also in the future. Anyhow, you will be tested again every time you come to donate if you have visited a malaria risk area during the last three years.

Also blood donors, who have been diagnosed and treated with malaria infection are tested for malaria antibodies. Persons diagnosed with malaria are not eligible to donate blood for a minimum period of three years after the infection. 

If the test result is positive we will contact you, and the blood you donated won't be given to patients. A positive test result leads to a permanent deferral from blood donation.