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Refugees in Australia invite one another to donate blood

Media Release

Refugees in every part of Australia are invited to donate blood this Valentine’s Day, Wednesday February 14, 2024, as part of an Australian Red Cross Lifeblood team called “10,000 Refugees Contributing to Australia”.

“There are thousands of us who are hoping to call Australia home. It’s a way to show our vitality and deep love for this country. The team is a sort of ‘living petition’,” said one man who came from the troubled region of Parachinar in Pakistan 12 years ago.

A handful of refugees have already begun donating under the team name. All donors have to do is mention the team “10,000 Refugees Contributing to Australia” on their Lifeblood application to join this campaign.

There are Australian Red Cross Lifeblood offices all over the country.

Whole blood can be taken every three months while plasma can be collected fortnightly.

The initiative comes from refugee Solomon Mackenzie from Iran. “Refugees offer diversity in terms of skill, culture and knowledge as well as blood types and genes”, he said. “Some of us are universal donors or can supply rare blood types”.

People do not require a Medicare card or visa to donate blood. ID is however necessary.

Alas, not every person who presents will be permitted to donate, as many health conditions and experiences can affect eligibility.

Limited or no access to Medicare or to quality health care during detention affects many refugees living in Australia: even those paying tax.

A small group of refugees will be at Parramatta Lifeblood office this Sunday (14 January 2024) to donate at 11.30am. The address is: 22 Oak Street, Rosehill NSW 2142. The closest cross street is Arthur Street.

Each donor who gets in touch via our Facebook page will receive a certificate documenting their contribution from Solomon who has donated already and will also attend the Parramatta office this Sunday.

Refugee Contact:

Solomon Mackenzie, +61 412 820 526.

Red Cross Australia Lifeblood is an apolitical organisation and welcomes blood from everyone.

Aspiring donors are invited to phone the Lifeblood call centre number to check eligibility: 131495.

 

 

Iranian refugee Maryam Ghaseminejad donated in December.

 

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7 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Yep!! Another example of refugees making a positive contribution to Australian society for the benefit of all. Something about egalitarianism comes to mind. So why are there still legal refugees still languishing in prison motels, Papua New Guinea and Nauru??
    .
    It is time to abolish this discrimination and welcome those refugees to Australia with accommodation, language education, medical services and access to jobs so that they may go on to contribute to future Australia as happened with the WWII European refugees, the Vietnamese refugees Sri Lankan refugees and others who have feared for their lives and undertaken dangerous travel to bult a better life for themselves and their families.

  2. Cool Pete

    I am a Privigen patient, and I am grateful to each and every person who metaphorically rolls up their sleeve to donate plasma so that I can still drive my car, do my shopping and other things that I enjoy. I am thankful to refugees who donate blood, and this is something that people need to remember, all the publicity has been on refugees who are supposedly bad, yet if you asked the 11 bus passengers who escaped the bus fire due to a quick-thinking refugee, they wouldn’t have cared whether he was Sudanese, Swedish, Chinese or Double-Dutch, they were grateful to live. My mother had a caregiver who was African, and she was lovely.

  3. Rob

    A good gesture by refugees and they are to be commended.

    However, I’m not sure about the Red Cross.
    With the use of mRNA vaccines, apparently spike proteins are made by the body for up to 6 months.
    My understanding is the Red Cross does not screen for spike proteins in blood donations.
    That means a potential for contamination.

    I can see another potential for scandal like the one that led to the 2003 Senate ‘Inquiry into Hepatitis C and Blood Supply in Australia’. The result was the Senate committee proposed a fund to improve the victims access to healthcare services but ruled out a compensation scheme. Canada and Ireland instituted compensation schemes covering loss of income and medical costs and—along with Great Britain—the provision of lump sum payments.

    To this day the Red Cross & TGA continue to ignore science and warnings. The place needs a complete overhaul.

  4. Clakka

    I second NEC’s comment.

    Hear, hear.

  5. Roswell

    And I third it.

  6. Jane Salmon

    I have confidence that Red Cross will tighten precautions as and when the scientific evidence is available for thorough peer review.

    Saving lives through transfusion is a very precise business and usually undergone during or directly after medical emergencies.

  7. Rob

    Jane, I have no confidence that the Red Cross is on top of this issue. They did not begin screening for hep C until 1990, despite 1986 US FDA advice to blood banks globally. You can check details at the ‘Infected Blood’ website.
    https://www.infectedbloodaustralia.com/
    I’ve read several reports that blood is being compromised for months by spike proteins produced by either the covid-19 vaccine or by people catching the SARS-2-Cov. One example: Strategies for the Management of Spike Protein-Related Pathology (Theresa Lawrie, March 2023).
    The Red Cross allows people to donate 3 days after vaccination, that doesn’t sound like a precautionary approach. I’ve no intention to derail away from this article showing refugees in a good light, but if the Red Cross is just going along to get along rather than keeping up with the science, they are potentially a big problem for health outcomes.

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