Born in India? Can’t donate blood in Northern Ireland

Updated on Sep 28, 2016 07:09 PM IST

More than 150 members of the Indian community in Northern Ireland were left frustrated after being told they couldn’t donate blood during a camp in Belfast because they were born in India and would need to undergo a malaria test.

File photo of charity event organised by Sudarshanam in Belfast in March 2016.(Courtesy Sudarshanam website)
File photo of charity event organised by Sudarshanam in Belfast in March 2016.(Courtesy Sudarshanam website)
Hindustan Times | By, London

More than 150 members of the Indian community in Northern Ireland were left frustrated after being told they couldn’t donate blood during a camp in Belfast because they were born in India and would need to undergo a malaria test.

The camp was organised on September 23 by the charity organisation Sudarshanam after nine months of planning and discussions with the Northern Ireland Transfusion Service (NITS). Organisers told Hindustan Times the issue of place of birth or the malaria test was never raised during the preparations.

Trustee Srikant Ganapati said on Wednesday: “People came from various parts of Northern Ireland, some also from England. It was the first such effort by any Asian organisation here but at the last moment, we were asked if we were born in India, or had visited India.

“Even a 62-year-old Indian who never visited India for the last 58 years was prevented from donating blood. Everyone was so enthusiastic, took time off work. Most of them were IT professionals and doctors, but had to go away without donating blood.”

There was no response from NITS but some reports said it was investigating the incident.

“It was very frustrating, but we will not give up. They often say that 97% people don’t donate blood, but when we wanted to, they prevented us. We will wait for the investigation’s outcome,” Ganapati said.

Donor eligibility criteria were not clear, the organisers said. There was no mention in correspondence over nine months or on the NITS website that people born in India cannot donate blood.

Belfast-based Sudarshanam, founded in 2012, is registered with Britain’s Charity Commission. Its objectives include educating people about Indian culture and advancing community development through volunteering initiatives.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prasun Sonwalkar was Editor (UK & Europe), Hindustan Times. During more than three decades, he held senior positions on the Desk, besides reporting from India’s north-east and other states, including a decade covering politics from New Delhi. He has been reporting from UK and Europe since 1999.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • File photo of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

    PM Sheikh Hasina to Hindu community in Bangladesh: You and I have same rights

    According to a report in the Dhaka Tribune newspaper, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “We want people of all faiths to live with equal rights. You are people of this country, you have equal rights here, you have the same rights as I have.” “You would always think that you are the citizens of this country and you will enjoy equal rights,” the premier said.

  • Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen 

    'Indescribable' pressure: Taiwan thanks Navy amid China tensions

    Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has visited sailors in the island's navy to thank them for their efforts amid days of war games and military drills by China, calling the pressure they had faced "indescribable". China, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, has been staging such exercises this month to show its anger at the visit to Taipei of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

  • FILE PHOTO: Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

    ‘Cannot justify what happened’: Ex-Pak PM Imran Khan on attack on Salman Rushdie

    Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Friday said that the attack on British author Salman Rushdie was “unjustifiable”. In 2012, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief had refused to attend a media conclave in New Delhi after learning about Rushdie's participation. He had reportedly said that he could not “think of participating in an event that included Rushdie - who had caused immeasurable hurt to Muslims across the globe.”

  • Contender to become UK's next Prime minister and leader of the Conservative party Britain's former Chancellor to the Exchequer Rishi Sunak speaks during a Conservative Party Hustings event in Belfast, on August 17, 2022. 

    UK PM candidate Sunak: Russia's Putin should be barred from G20

    Rishi Sunak, one of the two candidates vying to replace Boris Johnson as British prime minister, has called on the G20 to bar Russian President Vladimir Putin from its meetings until Moscow halts the war in Ukraine, his spokesman said on Friday. Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will attend the G20 summit on the resort island of Bali this November, a longtime adviser to the Indonesian president said earlier.

  • (Representational Image)

    Gandhi statue outside Hindu temple vandalised in New York

    In a possible hate crime, unidentified persons have destroyed a handcrafted statue of Mahatma Gandhi with a sledgehammer at a Hindu temple here after vandalising it earlier this month, media reports said on Friday. The founder of Shri Tulsi Mandir, Lakhram Maharaj, situated in South Richmond Hill discovered the Gandhi statue was reduced to rubble on Wednesday morning. The same Gandhi statue was vandalised two weeks ago, investigating officials said. The New York Police Department is investigating both incidents as possible hate crimes, media reports said.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, August 19, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now