Blood

Blood

Seriously ill Covid-19 patients given hope with controversial 1,000 euros incentive for blood plasma donations


https://www.prfire.com/

The Mayor of Bucharest, Gabriela Firea, has taken what many believe to be a radical step to save the lives of Covid-19 patients in the city. She is offering 1,000 EUR worth of essential retail vouchers for blood donations from citizens who have recovered from the virus. Antibodies from the donated blood plasma will be used as an emergency treatment to help seriously ill patients.

Gabriela Firea explained, “Convalescent plasma treatment is currently undergoing multiple studies across the globe and initial results are very promising. The plasma from recovered patients is rich with antibodies and can be used to stimulate further antibody production in patients being treated for Covid-19.”

However, Romania already has one of the lowest rates of blood and plasma donation in Europe, and the country currently has an alarming 67,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections. Of the 31,500 people who have recovered, only around 400 have donated blood, despite public appeals. This led Gabriela Firea to launch the voucher initiative.

Any qualifying individual who donates blood plasma will receive vouchers worth 1,000 EUR. These can be used to buy food, medicine and other essential goods from stores in Bucharest, providing both an incentive to donate and an injection of capital into the city’s beleaguered retail sector.

Despite criticism from the opposition, who linked the programme to organ trafficking and made emotive calls in the media for it to be stopped, Gabriela Firea stands by her decision. “Other government initiatives have failed to increase donation rates,” she said. “Providing a financial incentive to those who have recovered from the virus is one of the best ways to prevent more people from dying.”

Overcoming negative social attitudes to blood donation will not be straightforward, and it remains to be seen whether or not Romanians will be sufficiently convinced of the benefits of plasma donation. Trials are still ongoing.

“I’m not advocating the use of the donated plasma until the trials are complete,” added Gabriela Firea. “If the studies show negative results, the worst-case scenario will be that we’ve paid for blood, which can still be used for routine hospital operations. On the other hand, we could be saving thousands of lives and assisting the global search for effective treatment.”

If the scheme is successful in Bucharest, Gabriela Firea hopes it can be implemented nationwide, where similar shortages exist and the process of soliciting donations has been impeded by bureaucracy, public attitudes and inaction on the part of the Ministry of Health.

For more information, contact:
Alexandru Burghiu
+40 735 262 102
alexbu09@yahoo.com
City Hall Bucharest

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500 Members of One Church Donate Blood Plasma for Coronavirus Research

 

500 members of Shincheonji Daegu Church, a branch church of South Korea-based Shincheonji Church of Jesus, are donating blood plasma in the hopes of assisting COVID-19 vaccine research.

From 13 July to 17 July 2020, these 500 Shincheonji members who have recovered from COVID-19 will donate their plasma at blood donations cars in front of Kyungpook National University Hospital. The cars were set up the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) in cooperation with the Red Cross.

Shincheonji Church of Jesus released the following letter regarding the plasma donations:

Greetings. This is Shincheonji Church of Jesus.

The Shincheonji Church of Jesus announced to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it would donate plasma to complete the development of Corona 19 vaccines and treatments, and held full-scale consultations in early June. It took time to find a way to expedite the large-scale plasma donation, but the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed us on July 9 that three Korean Red Cross plasma collection buses could be supported for 500 people.

A total of 500 people will participate in the plasma donation through the Korean National Red Cross vehicles deployed at the front gate of Kyungpook National University Hospital for five days from July 13 to 17, 2020.

In addition, the believers of the Daegu Church decided not to receive a small amount of transportation money provided to plasma donors as the nation suffered a major crisis with Covid-19.

I sincerely pray that the blood plasma donation of the believers of the Daegu Church in Shincheonji will serve as an opportunity to take a step further toward the end of the Covid-19 in Korea and around the world.

Until now, there have only been about 170 blood plasma from individuals nationwide, and clinical trials will begin this week. The donated plasma from these 500 Shincheonji members will be used to make blood treatment medicine after the clinical trials. Representatives of the church have expressed hope that these donations will assist in finding a cure to help all people suffering from COVID-19 as soon as possible.

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