/R E P E A T -- 21st edition of Black History Month - The collective blood supply needs the contribution of the Black communities/

MONTREAL, Jan. 31, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - One human blood donation can save the life of another human being, regardless of his or her skin colour or ethnicity. But for some patients who require multiple blood transfusions, the chances of finding compatible blood are much greater in donors of the same race. This reality means that Québec's collective blood supply requires more donors from all communities, including the Black communities.

This is why, once again this year, Héma-Québec is adding its voice to Black History Month to promote the cause of blood donation within these communities, which are particularly affected by sickle-cell anemia, a hereditary blood disease whose treatment can require several blood transfusion at regular intervals.

Since 2009, the organization has been making efforts to recruit more donors from the Black communities. Close to 1,200 new donors have answered the call so far. The 21st edition of Black History Month is a good occasion to remind everyone that despite these encouraging results, there is still work to be done to ensure that the supply better reflects the cultural mosaic of Québec.

"Héma-Québec's mission is to provide blood products to hospitals and, ultimately, meet the specific needs of patients of all origins. Héma-Québec can only achieve its goals with the involvement of all communities, including the Black communities," said Dr. Jean De Serres, President and CEO of Héma-Québec.

Call for solidarity
As part of the activities surrounding the event, a blood drive organized by the Table ronde du Mois de l'histoire des Noirs (Black History Month round table) will be held on February 18. Some 40 donors are expected between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Centre d'éducation des adultes, located at 2515 Delisle Street in Montréal. For a brother, a cousin, a neighbour, donors of all backgrounds are invited to show their solidarity by giving blood. For all questions regarding eligibility, dial 1-800-847-2525.

About Héma-Québec 

Héma-Québec's mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers; to provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.

Héma-Québec encompasses 1,300 employees, some 3,000 blood drives and more than 160,000 blood donors 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.


SOURCE HEMA-QUEBEC

For further information:

Valérie Legault
Information Officer
External Communications Department
514-832-0871
valerie.legault@hema-quebec.qc.ca
www.hema-quebec.qc.ca

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