Swedish blood donors help Africa Ebola fight

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Swedish blood donors help Africa Ebola fight
A suspected Ebola patient in Sierra Leone. Photo: Tanya Bindra/TT

A Gothenburg doctor who has been helping fight Ebola in Sierra Leone has set up a scheme that means Swedish blood donors can support relief efforts in West Africa.


Arash Izadkhasti, who works at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, returned from a four-week assignment at a medical centre for Ebola control in Sierra Leone earlier this month.

On Tuesday he helped launch a scheme which means that when anyone donates blood at the hospital, 30 kronor ($4) will be given to the medical charity MSF or Doctors Without Borders.

In Sweden, donors are usually given small gifts when they give blood, but they will forego these during the two month campaign, in order to fund the charity scheme.

"We must do everything we can to help...the worst affected countries are among the poorest in the world," Dr Arash Izadkhasti said in a press release.

"It will be very costly to overcome the Ebola epidemic, not least considering all the protective equipment needed," he added.

What is Sweden doing to fight Ebola?

Sahlgrenska University Hospital says it hopes that more blood centres in the country will join in the initiative.

Sweden is already the fifth largest donor in the world in terms of Ebola relief efforts.

To become a blood donor in Sweden you must be able to understand Swedish, have a personal identity number, an approved ID document and be a healthy person between the ages of 18-60.


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