Tag Archives: International

The history of the Red Cross / Red Crescent in blood

GAP Secretariat Perth, WA, Australia   It has been almost one hundred years since the first Red Cross / Red Crescent (RC/RC) blood transfusion service was established by the British Red Cross in 1921. Today, more than 80% of all Red Cross / Crescent National Societies are operating a blood program as a core health […]

Blood debt

Jules Reich Chicago, Illinois, United States   A patient donating blood, Australia, c. late 1940s. Source: Wikimedia commons In 1937, the first U.S. blood bank opened in Chicago. It was originally called a Blood Preservation Laboratory, but its founder, Dr. Bernard Fantus, changed the name to blood bank. For someone who spent a large part […]

Blood type and personality

Nonoko Kamai Nagoya, Japan   ICS code block for blood bag identification (sample). Photo by ICS International GmbH. 2013. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0. Why do Japanese people believe in a relationship between blood type and personality? Beginning in the 1970s, the blood type personality hypothesis became fashionable in Japan and it is […]

The paradox of blood donation

Beukou Steve Limbe, South-West Cameroon Team HERO Cameroon organizing 2nd annual blood drive 2019     (Source: NGO HERO CAMEROON) Team HERO Cameroon and voluntary blood donors during blood drive 2019 (Source: NGO  HERO CAMEROON) Exchange visit at the National Blood Transfusion Service in Mauritius 2019 (Source: Association of Commonwealth University Summerschool 2019) “Please I urgently […]

Bloody segregation: the story of how Charles Richard Drew found life abundantly

Amy DeMatt Greensburg, Pennsylvania, United States   Charles R. Drew, “Father of the Blood Bank,” as depicted by Betsy Graves Reyneau.  The portrait hangs at the National Portrait Gallery, and, as described by the Gallery, serves as a “visual rebuttal to racism.” Source:  Wikimedia Commons. Portrait of Charles R. Drew, painted by Betsy Graves Reyneau, […]

Blood beliefs and practices in Iran

Bahar Dowlatshahi Tehrann, Iran   Circulation of the blood (human). Wellcome Collection. CC BY Blood is believed to have special abilities and properties in many eastern countries such as Iran. Even human personality traits, emotions, and relationships are referred to with blood. Angry people boil their blood; those who are kind and loving are called warm-blooded. […]

Traditional circumcision in South Africa

Ntombi Kgosana Phenyo Montsho Pretoria, South Africa   A parked ambulance at Steve Biko Hospital, Pretoria. Image taken by Ntombi Kgosana, January 2019 Traditional circumcision is an ancient and highly secretive practice that serves as a rite of passage and a gateway to manhood in South Africa. It draws hundreds of young men annually, with […]

Kokumo: the child will not die again

Iyoha Odia Lagos, Nigeria   The Survivor, by Barrister Chikezie Onwumere, (December 2019). Personal Collection. It was 1838 in the ancient town of Ake, the era of the Abikus. The harmattan wind blew with reckless abandon, tinting everything living and non-living along its course. The leaves turned reddish brown from green, the roofs were caked […]

Anne McLaren, transfusion, transplantation, and the nature of blood

Matthew Holmes Cambridge, UK   What happened during a transfusion or transplantation between different individuals, or even members of different species? For centuries some thought that hereditable characteristics might cross between individuals or species in this manner. This belief found fresh impetus in Marxist biology during the Cold War. Anne McLaren, Oxford-trained zoologist and first […]

The leech makes a comeback

Meryl C. Sigaton City of Silay, Philippines   This image of the Hirudo Medicinalis (European Medicinal Leech) was photographed latching on to the human skin. Source The anterior and posterior suckers of the European Medicinal Leech is clearly visible in this image. Source Four (4) medicinal leeches were photographed on a human hand to show […]