Dear members of the press and information section (World Health Organisation),
As someone that has written award winning research in the area of blood safety http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/newsevents/news/news/index.php?nid=628 I was shocked and disgusted to read the account on the link provided of a Palestinian donating blood in the US at a Red Cross Facility and having to deny his heritage of being Palestinian. I shall now check out the situation in the UK where I live. See this quote… “The American Red Cross was hosting a blood drive at my university today so a friend and I stopped by. I would find out an hour later that my identity as a Palestinian was unverifiable”http://smpalestine.com/2012/02/08/american-red-cross-erases-palestine-from-database/
For a Palestinian to have to deny their identity to donate and be placed under the category “Israel” is extremely insensitive and surely against their human rights and may well put some Palestinians off donating blood altogether. At a time where shortages can exist and blood drives are publized to increase the number of donors we must value every donor regardless of nationality.
America’s categorization policy does not refect inclusivity and diversity and frankly if I was in was in that person’s shoes I would be taking a case for discrimination regarding the categorization of nationality.
I request that the WHO look at this issue as a matter of urgency and issue guidelines for recognition of Palestinian nationals as this problem may be occuring elsewhere. I believe you should act now to avoid Palestinians boycotting blood drives!
I look forward to the response of the WHO
Carol Anne Grayson (Researcher/writer/activist in global health/human rights)