Does SA bloodbank violate human rights of children?
2 October 2011 Leave a comment
Afrikaner parents worry that their children face growing pressure at schools to donate this white minority’s largely AIDS-free blood without advance parental permission; but that many poor white children are becoming too emaciated to safely donate blood.
SA children now can legally donate blood without parental permission from the age of 14 and get HIV-tested from the age of 12:
Is the South African bloodbank violating the rights of children? I’m raising this question because many Afrikaner parents have written me over the past few months with growing worries about the SA blood-bank ’s drawing blood ‘donations’ from their children without advance parental permission, at their schools. Parents claim that some schools are applying ‘undue pressure on their children to donate more blood.’ The children also come home upset because of the sexually-explicit questions they have to answer before ‘donating their blood’.
Blood of Whites and Indians a valuable commodity in Africa:
The blood of whites and Indians in South Africa is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity on a continent where AIDS is rife amongst the black population and AIDS-free blood products are becoming increasingly important. In 2009, South Africa alone had 5,5-million AIDS-infected people and 93% were blacks. price list of SA blood for private patients
Afrikaner parents who complained to me say they want the age of consent for blood-donations by children moved upwards to the minimum voting age: the present law dating from 1989 allows children from the age of 14 years to decide by themselves whether they can donate blood to the blood-bank.
Afrikaner parents – especially the great many impoverished, unemployable parents in squatter camps who can’t afford to feed their children a decent meal each day – worry that the South African blood bank’s aggressive ‘Be a Hero’ approach to encourage young children to donate blood at their schools, is placing excessive peer-pressure on their children. Impoverished Afrikaner children have been growing increasingly malnourished – and donating blood could seriously impair their health, parents worry. BSA blood-bank bus makes frequent stops at schools: http://www.sanbs.org.za/PDFDocuments/services/Private%20Patients%20Nov%202011.pdf
AIDS-epidemic causes large shortages of donor-blood:
The Afrikaner parents who wrote me, also believe that the human rights of their children are being violated by a blood-bank which is very keen to sell its products at very high prices and even exporting the blood to other African countries — because of the AIDS-crisis overwhelming the continent. The blood of especially Indian- and White South Africans is particularly highly sought after in Africa because of the high level of AIDS-infection amongst the continent’s black population. The SA blood-bank costs for private patients can be found on this list: SA blood bank price list for private patient-institutions: also: high level of AIDS-infection among black SA males:
Poor Afrikaner parents worry that undue pressure is being put on their children to donate blood at their schools – when their children are growing increasingly emaciated
‘ My child is terrified of saying ‘no’ to blood-donation because she fears being bullied: ‘
Afrikaner parents pointed out that the ‘blood-bank buses’ regularly stop by those schools with a higher concentration of white children: those parents also complain that the teachers and the children’s peers often place ‘undue pressure on their children to donate blood’. One parent wrote: “my child is terrified of saying ‘no’ because she fears being bullied’. The parents also noted that the schools often do not obtain advance written permission from the parents for their children to donate blood. Under the law, SA children can give their own permission to be tested for HIV when they are 12 years old, and they can donate blood without parental permission from the age of 14 on up. Parents can lodge objections to their young children donating blood if they are physically frail, and if the children are mentally-incompetent to take such decisions themselves. Parents wrote me that their children often come home extremely upset after donating blood, also because of the very explicitly-sexual questions in the SA Blood Bank questionaire asked before blood is drawn:
The SA blood bank does not respond to my questions to explain its policies over donations by children:
Over the past few months, I’ve repeatedly written to the SA blood bank for comment about their policies concerning the donation of blood by minor children without advance permission from the parents. No reply. http://www.sanbs.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=150:mobile-drives&catid=97:mobile-drives However — the fact is that parental permission is not required for children over the age of 14 years old to donate blood. There are two specific rules guiding the donation of blood by children in South Africa: namely the legal minimum age when SA children can give permission to be tested for HIV is 12 years. However when they donate blood – which is ALWAYS tested for HIV by the SA blood bank and thus legally could be considered an HIV-test — the child-donors can legally be 14 years old under the Human Tissue Act 65 of 1983, section 18(aa) . So South African parents can only object to their children donating blood if they are 14 years or younger – or if their children are not healthy or fit enough to donate blood. http://www.ci.org.za/depts/ci/plr/pdf/factsht/AG_0908_print.pdf
Afrikaner parents who wrote me also firmly believe that the freely-donated blood from their children often is sold at high prices to private patients and is even exported to other African countries. They pointed out that their 3-million-strong minority-group, together with the Indian minority-group, are the least-infected with HIV-AIDS in South Africa – and which would make their blood a highly-prized trading commodity on the entire African continent.
Pricelist for private patient-organisations of the SA bloodbank: http://www.sanbs.org.za/PDFDocuments/services/Private%20Patients%20Nov%202011.pdf
- PROVIDING AIDS-FREE BLOOD UNDERSTANDABLY IMPORTANT GOAL OF SOUTH AFRICAN BLOOD BANK
- The SA blood bank ‘s questionaire is completely geared towards weeding out any potential blood-donors who may be infected with HIV/AIDS. They note that people must not donate blood if they have been exposed to hiv/aids: warning: ‘You may be endangering someone’s life.DANGER: the window period . . .The window period refers to the time from when a person is first infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) until the person tests positive. During the window period, laboratory tests are negative, but the person is still capable of infecting others. The window period may last for months. Even if a window period donation is stored and re-tested, the virus will still not be detected. Help keep the blood supply as safe as possible by looking HONESTLY at your lifestyle and answering the questions truthfully. If you have been in a situation where you could have been exposed to HIV/AIDS, do not donate blood. By donating, you will be putting the lives of patients who receive your blood at risk. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON AIDS COUNSELLING AND TESTING, CALL TOLL FREE: 0800 01 2322 If you are unsure about any of the above, please discuss this in confidence with our staff. • The blood service is required to check the lifestyle of all those who wish to donate. Answer the questions you will be asked ashonestly as possible, to help us keep the blood supply truly safe.• Every blood donation is tested for HIV/AIDS. Persons testing positive must be aware that this may have a psychological
impact and profoundly influence their lifestyle”.: http://www.sanbs.org.za/PDFDocuments/donors/become%20a%20donor/FRM-DCD-010-2E-Abbreviated-donor-questionnaire.pdf
High-risk sexual behavior among the most sexually active suggest that Black South African males are highly vulnerable to HIV infection when they have sex with males and females. A concentrated HIV-epidemic among Black males may be linked to the generalized epidemic in South Africa through the sexual behavior of men who have sex with both men and women: http://ari.ucsf.edu/programs/policy/lane_high_risk.pdf