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.
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.