Calling Donors of African Ancestry 

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service recently introduced Malarial Antibody Testing for blood donation samples.

This means that many potential donors who were not eligible to donate can now give blood. Testing for malaria will help to increase and diversify our donor population so that we better suit the needs of Ireland’s changing population.

Diversifying the Donor Base

The introduction of malarial testing means we can now take blood from a far more diverse range of donors than previously. This is vital to meet the needs of our hospitals. We will be running a long term recruitment campaign to promote blood donation and attract new eligible donors from diverse backgrounds, particularly donors of African heritage.

What to do I need to do if I want to give blood?

  • Firstly take our quick new donor eligibility quiz for new and returning donors on the website to make sure that you are eligible to donate or to give samples on the day of the clinic
  • If you do not fulfil all the eligibility criteria you will not be eligible to donate or to give samples on the day. Information is available on our website on how long you have to wait before you can donate or give samples as this depends on the reason for your deferral.
  • If you are unsure of your eligibility or have any questions which cannot be answered on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page or on any of the links at the bottom of the eligibility quiz, please ring 1800 731137 and we can help you answer any specific queries

Will all donors be tested for Malaria?

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 anytime after that

For more information Becoming a Donor