Israel’s Ministry of Health removed all limitations on blood donations by Ethiopians born outside out of the country due to fears of HIV. A committee in the ministry recommends not to differentiate between native Ethiopians to the rest of the population.

Ethiopian protest

Ethiopian protest Photo credit: Channel 2 News

Today (Thursday), after many years when Ethiopians born outside of Israel were not permitted to donate blood due to fears of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the Israeli Ministry of Health removed all the limitations on Ethiopians concerning blood donations. According to the ministry, the change was made possible thanks to improvements and technological developments in the field.

Until today, native born Ethiopians could not donate blood even if they immigrated to Israel as little children. This is due to the policy stating that whoever lived abroad for over a year after 1977 in a high-risk HIV country, determined by the World Health Organization, could not donate blood.

“The adaptation of these recommendations…allow the appropriate balance between the need for public health protection and the need for equality alongside the expansion of the blood donors in Israel,” the Ministry of Health stated.