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UPDATED: June 16, 2014
China Sees Red in Blood Donation

The Chinese mainland saw only 9.4 blood donations per 1,000 people last year, below the WHO-proposed minimum ratio for a country's clinical use, the country's health watchdog warned ahead of Saturday's World Blood Donor Day.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission noted in a Friday statement that the mainland's blood donation situation is "not compatible" with its economic and social development.

According to the commission, Hong Kong and Macao recorded 30 and 23 donations per 1,000 people respectively in 2013, while the figure in developed countries usually reaches 40.

The WHO recommends 10 to 30 donations per 1,000 people to meet a country's clinical demand.

Though there remains a significant disparity against more developed regions, the number of blood donors in the mainland rose 256-fold last year to 12.78 million from only 50,000 in 1998.

The Chinese Government had set down a goal to raise the ratio to 10 donations per 1,000 people by the end of 2015.

Achieving that requires an annual increase of at least 2.5 percent in blood donors, but the the number only edged up 1.75 percent from 2012 to 2013, the commission said.

China's blood donation also lags far behind the general development of the country's health service.

Figures from the commission show that health institutions nationwide treated 7.31 billion people, while 192 million were hospitalized, in 2013, up 6.1 and 7.6 percent year-on-year respectively. Meanwhile, the amount of blood received in the country only rose by 1.3 percent.

In Friday's statement, the commission noted various problems in the country's blood centers such as inadequate infrastructure, outdated equipment and technology as well as blood workers' general skills.

According to the commission, the government will allocate 2.25 billion yuan ($360 million) for the construction of blood centers in the country's underdeveloped central and western regions by 2015.

(Xinhua News Agency June 13, 2014)

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