Blood bank Sanquin is setting up a campaign to call on people with Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese and Antillean roots to give blood. For the time being, few people with that background donate blood in the Netherlands, while their blood is needed.
People with Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese and Antillean roots often have a different blood type than people with a western background, says a spokesperson for Sanquin.
"The number of donors with a non-Western background is small, while the number of patients with an origin that requires blood is proportionally as large as the number of Western patients."
The spokesperson explains that there are many more blood groups than the best known AB0. "A blood type is a structure on the outside of a blood cell. About 360 of them are known in total. There are five AB0."
This is how the duffy blood type exists. "It originally emerged in malaria areas in Africa. Those who have this blood type are less susceptible to malaria. But people who do not come from it have only a very small chance of having that blood type."
Whoever receives a blood transfusion runs the risk that the immune system will take action that that blood will break down. The more often someone receives a blood transfusion, the greater the chance that the immune system will recognize the blood as foreign and take action, the spokesman said. "You then have to find better matched blood to prevent a reaction."
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