Human Rights / Health

Removing discrimination from the questionnaire of blood donation in B&H

Friday, October 12, 2012

The mandatory questionnaire for the voluntary blood donors used to prohibit “all the individuals who had temporary or permanent sexual contacts with homosexuals” to donate blood. 

 
On October 10, Sarajevo Open Centre (SOC) has met with the representatives of the Blood Transfusion Institute of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the change of the mandatory questionnaire for the voluntary blood donors, where SOC has constated that the new questionnaire emphasises high risk sexual behaviour as the deferral criteria for voluntary blood donors, while sexual orientation is not mentioned at all, removing any discriminatory statement.
 
SOC has met with the representatives regarding the change of the mandatory questionnaire for the voluntary blood donors which had prohibited “all the individuals who had temporary or permanent sexual contacts with homosexuals” to donate blood.
 
The communication between Sarajevo Open Centre and the Blood Transfusion Institute had lasted from the end of the November 2011 until the  meeting with the representatives of the Institute. In the  meeting, the representatives of the Institution stated that the changes of the questionnaire were made in accordance to the Rules for particular technical demands for blood and blood products which were adopted by the Federal Ministry of Health on the 16th of November of 2011. The representatives presented the new questionnaire in which the regulation that prohibits “all  the individuals who have temporary or constant sexual contacts with homosexuals” to donate blood is removed and replaced with a question “Have you had sexual contact with the person with increased risk in the last 12 months?”. The new questionnaire emphasises high risk sexual behaviour as the deferral criteria for voluntary blood donors, while sexual orientation is not mentioned at all, which means that the discrimination of the potential voluntary blood donors on the ground of their sexual orientation is removed.
 
The term “risky sexual behaviour” will be explained to every potential donor in particular when accessing the blood donation by the technicians of the Institute. The representatives of the Institute have stated in the meeting that their technicians will be obliged by the official statement of the Institute in their work with potential donors on which behaviour is considered risky. This should prevent the discrimination of LGBT persons who want to donate blood by the individual employees of the Institute.  
The new questionnaire represents a good foundation for the cooperation between healthcare institutions and Sarajevo Open Centre and will help personnel of the Blood Transfusion Institute of FBiH to act professionally and ethically towards LGBT persons who want to donate blood.
 
This achievement is the result of the successful work of the Sarajevo Open Centre and other LGBT activists, as well as the good cooperation with the representatives of the Blood Transfusion Institute of FB&H. Sarajevo Open Centre continues its work on the elimination of discrimination in the health care with the Institution for transfusion medicine of Republic of Srpska.
 
Contact:
Mariña Barreiro
Sarajevo Open Centre
E-mail: marinha@soc.ba
Web: www.soc.ba 
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