Diversifying the Donor Base

Ireland needs more donors from all backgrounds to meet the needs of all our patients in our hospitals. Increasingly more people of diverse backgrounds are now eligible to give blood in Ireland including many of whom were previously unable, including donors of African heritage.

Giveblood.ie is running a long term recruitment campaign to promote blood donation and attract new eligible donors from diverse backgrounds, particularly donors of African heritage. This is vital to meet the needs of all patients in hospitals, and develop a donor base that closely matches the patient population. In particular African heritage donors are ten times more likely to have the Ro blood type urgently needed to treat people with sickle cell disease.

The big change – introduction of Malarial testing

The recent introduction of malarial testing for blood donation samples means we can now take blood from a far more diverse range of donors than previously. Many potential donors who were not eligible previously, including people born or who resided in a malarial area for a longer period of time, may now be able to give blood, subject to other normal criteria. 

Become a Blood Donor at any of our clinics around the country and Save Lives! 

What do you need to do?

  • Firstly, check your likely eligibility by taking our short new donor eligibility quiz
  • There is also a lot more information about eligibility in our FAQ section, or you can call 1800 731 137 if you want to talk to someone and ask further questions
  • If eligible now (or in the future after any advised waiting period) when you call us at 1800 731 137, we will then arrange an appointment to give blood or a sample at any of our upcoming blood donation clinics.
  • If for your first donation, you are only able to give a sample (as is often the case), you only need to wait 42 days to be able to give full donations - and then every 90 days between donations!
  • If for any reason you are unable to give blood, please encourage your friends and family to become blood donors as it is vital that we get the message out to everybody about the importance of giving blood!

Malaria Testing

The IBTS commenced Malaria antibody testing in 2023 to increase the number of people eligible to give blood.

The malaria antibody test will only be done for donors who

  • lived for 6 months or more continuously in a malaria endemic area at any time of life,
  • donors who had malaria, and
  • donors who had an unexplained fever while in a malaria endemic area or within 6 months of leaving the area.

If a donor tests positive for malaria, we will let you know if you have active malaria and need treatment or if you had malaria in the past and do not need treatment now.

What happens if I was born outside Ireland?

If you were born in Ireland (or the UK), then subject to other normal eligibility criteria including travel, you will be able to give a donation on your first attendance.

If you were born outside Ireland/UK, then on your first attendance we will take samples only, and all tests being negative, you will be then be eligible to give blood after 42 days (6 weeks) since the sample was taken, and any time after that.

For more information Becoming a Donor