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May 27, 2013

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Expatriates donate blood to help boost city's supply of rare types

ABOUT 100 expatriates living in Shanghai donated blood yesterday to mark World Blood Donor Day.

Shanghai Blood Administration officials said foreigners helped boost the amount of certain blood types often in short supply.

Zhu Yueguo, director of the Shanghai Blood Administration Office, said 1,300 expats donate blood in Shanghai on average every year.

Type A, O and the rare Rh negative blood are more common among Europeans and Americans, thus donations from foreigners are much appreciated as it helps meet demand for blood transfusions in the city, Zhu said.

"Love transcends borders and expatriates display their feelings for the city and its people this way," Zhu said.

Most expat blood donors have lived in the city for years and many said it was the first time they donated blood.

An expat from Kazakhstan who identified herself as Zinara said she has been living in Shanghai for four years and learned from friends about the donation event. "It's a good feeling to donate blood," she said.

It was also the first time so many expatriates donated blood on the same day in the city.

"I think it is really great to share some blood, and you can help people in case someone needs it," said Zinara.

She donated blood at Oriental Land, one of many spots across the city accepting blood donations yesterday.

These expats donated blood in response to a call from a Brazilian who asked to be identified as Tina. The event was called "love without borders."

"There is no country or ethnic boundary in blood donation, and for us, Shanghai is our second hometown," Tina said.

Zhu said in a metropolis like Shanghai, the donation rate should reach at least 2 percent of the population to satisfy demand for blood.

"The current rate is less than 1.5 percent, and the gap is still very big," Zhu said.

"We hope more people, particularly youngsters, will join the group of blood donors," he said.

The rate of Rh negative blood among foreigners is 10 to 15 percent, compared with three or four per thousand in Han Chinese, Zhu said.


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