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One million blood donors in Flanders

14 November 2007

BRUSSELS –  In Leuven (Flemish Brabant) the Red Cross has welcomed its millionth blood donor. The lady in question, Fabienne Van Mierlo, is a 19-year-old student of bio-engineering.

In recent months the Red Cross has been making a special effort to encourage young people to become blood donors. Carine Genoux of the Red Cross says that her organisation is particularly eager to get students to become blood donors.

More and more people are becoming blood donors, but stricter regulation also means that many existing donors are giving up.

The Red Cross has been doing blood collections in Belgium since 1972.

Each year some 170,000 people give blood to the Red Cross.

In the World Top 3
Since 1972 the Flemish Red Cross has taken receipt of 11 million blood donations.

15% of blood donors attend a Red Cross transfusion centre.

The remaining 85% of people give blood at ambulant Red Cross collections.

Last year the Red Cross had over 171,000 registered blood donors – an increase of 15,000 compared with 2002.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday the Red Cross’s Managing Director Prof. Philippe Vandekerckhove said that blood safety had always formed a top priority for his organisation.

The Red Cross operates internal quality checks that meet the most demanding guidelines.

A recent international study that looked at how efficiently blood donations were collected, processed and tested put the Flemish Red Cross in the world’s top 3.

[Copyright Flanders news 2007]

Subject: Belgian news