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Vietnam considers compulsory blood donation

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Health Desk: Jan. 9, 2017- Vietnamese adults will be required to donate their blood every year, if a proposal by the Health Ministry is approved.

While drafting a law on blood and stem cells, the Health Ministry mentions two plans to deal with the current shortage of blood used for medical treatment, namely compulsory blood donation and increased spending on voluntary blood donation, the ministry said on Monday.

With the first plan, some 46 million adults, excluding some 14.2 million blood-related patients, will donate blood once a year, and the donated blood will surpass the demand for blood used for medical treatment by nearly 28 million units (one unit equals to 250 milliliters).

The ministry supports the second plan as the first plan will result in oversupply of donated blood and bigger costs of organizations and individuals related to salary, insurance, travel and equipment. The draft law will be submitted to Vietnam's top legislature in 2018.

According to the ministry's statistics in 2010, only 0.9 percent of the Vietnamese population donated blood and donated blood stood at nearly 1.1 million units.

Currently blood donation in Vietnam is conducted on voluntary basis, based on weight of adult donors.

It's important to mention that on average, an adult can donate up to four times a year.