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Blood safety concernd as donations increase in China

(Xinhua)    09:06, June 12, 2015
(File Photo/Xinhua)

BEIJING, June 11 -- A total of 12.99 million Chinese people voluntarily donated blood in 2014, a 40-fold increase on 1998, but difficulties in coping with blood shortages and ensuring a safe blood supply persist.

In 1998, China enacted a Blood Donation Law, encouraging citizens between 18 and 55 years old to donate blood voluntarily. In that year, only 328,000 people donated blood, said Ma Xiaowei, deputy head of China's National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) at a blood management meeting on Thursday.

Ma added that 9.5 out of every 1,000 people donated blood in 2014, while the amount of donated blood increased from fewer than 1,000 tonnes in 1998 to some 4,400 tonnes in 2014.

Risk stemming from blood transfusions also grew. Earlier this year, a five-year-old girl in east China's Fujian Province was found to have contracted HIV/AIDS via blood transfusion, raising alarm about how to screen volunteers' blood safety.

Lai Qunying from a blood bank in central China's Jiangxi Province, said blood transfusion risk still exists due to a window period before the HIV/AIDS virus can be detected.

A China Daily report in January cited an HIV/AIDS specialist as saying that each year about ten people in China are infected with HIV/AIDS via infected blood "due to limited screening technology."

Acute blood shortages are reported occasionally, especially in big cities, which hosts top hospitals.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Huang Jin,Zhang Qian)

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