Blood Donation Drive for Expats to Take Place Next Week in Albania

A blood donation drive will take place in Tirana, Durres, Vlora, and Saranda next weekend as a part of an initiative to encourage immigrants and ex-pats to help alleviate the national blood shortage.

Albania generally has a shortage of blood, typically receiving half the amount needed each year. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this situation and there are significantly fewer donors. This was due in part to lockdown restrictions, but also to fear of entering medical institutions during the pandemic.

The result is that many of those requiring regur blood transfusions such as children with thalassemia and those with chronic conditions have been turned away. In Lushnje and Fier which have higher rates of thalassemia, some families have had to wait much longer than the required two weeks between transfusions resulting in serious health consequences for their children.

In January, a donation drive took place in Tirana, attended by more than ten members of the foreign community. Swedish Ambassador Elsa Hastad attended, donated, and spoke of the importance of giving blood regularly. The event was also attended by President Ilir Meta who is the head of the Blood Donation Alliance. He thanked those in attendance for their kindness and for helping out their host country.

The next donation events will take place in cities which have significant foreign communities.

On Friday 12, the donation event will take place in a portable donation station at Vlora Hospital. It will take place between 10am and 2pm and President Meta will attend around midday.

On Saturday 13, three events will take place concurrently. They are as follows:

  • Tirana: Blood Transfusion Centre next to the Trauma Hospital in Laprake between 10am-2pm.
  • Durres: Palace of Culture between 10am-2pm.
  • Saranda: Qendra Polivalente Ditore “Feti Rugji” in a portable donation station 10am-2pm. President Meta will attend in the afternoon.

As a part of the process, donors will receive a full blood screening and analysis as well as a medical check.

If you are over 18 and under 65, more than 50kg, and have not had surgery or a tattoo in the last three months, you are invited to attend. All blood types welcome.

The whole process takes around 30 minutes and each donation can save up to three lives.

All COVID-19 protocols will be respected throughout.

If you have any questions about donating blood, contact 0698476513 via WhatsApp.