Many individuals living with SCD require continuous blood transfusion and stem cell transplantation for their care and treatment. Science has proven that those on continuous blood transfusion must receive blood from their community to reduce the chances of developing anti-bodies. As a result, SCAGO in collaboration with Canadian Blood Services educates and organizes blood donor and stem cell registry drives.
Are you attending a post-secondary institution in Ontario? SCAGO is recruiting students as champions to support blood donors and stem cell registry drives. To learn more about/participate in our student championship program, complete the form below.
Donor Deferral Policy
To increase phenotype-matched blood supply, we urged Health Canada to follow FDA “Final Guidance” regarding HIV-O Risk Questions.
HIV-O Group 1
The Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario in collaboration with the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario and Association d’Anémie Falciforme du Quebec wrote Health Canada on its stand on the Permanent deferral of donors who have lived in or traveled to certain African countries (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Niger or Nigeria) since 1977 and the sexual partners of these potential blood donors. Our stand on the issue was sent to Health Canada in 2012.
Furthermore, on joining the National Association, SCDAC/AAFC; Ms. Tunji-Ajayi who spearheaded this advocacy work at SCAGO, continue to work with Health Canada, Canadian Blood Services, and Hema-Quebec to move this project forward. We are pleased to submit that Health Canada first relaxed the deferral policy from permanent deferral to 12 months for those who have lived in or traveled to the African countries in question in 2013 and later for their sexual partners in 2017.
However, individuals and their spouses who reside or visited Togo and Cameroon in the past year were singled out and eventually through the continued efforts of SCAGO, SCDAC/AAFC, and the blood operators, on April 23rd, 2018; Health Canada regulating Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec removed the HIV deferral for Cameroon and Togo. Some of the correspondences with Health Canada are listed below