• Mina Roufael

The Blood Smuggling Crisis Around the World

Recently, blood smuggling has become more prominent in many parts of the world. There have been different types of blood smuggling in different countries due to the surge of Covid-19 in the last couple of years. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a big boundary for people not donating blood. As a result, there has been a strike in blood shortages around the world, including the United States. Many individuals might be afraid to donate blood due to the thought of spreading Covid-19 through blood, though no further studies have found that the virus can be spread through these means and there have been no cases from it that were due to receiving donated blood during the pandemic.
One of the countries that have had issues with blood smuggling is China. Around the world, pregnant women can identify their baby’s sex through drawing blood or through scans, but this is not the case in China. Pregnant women in China are banned from gender testing due to a law that was set in place in 2002. This law was created due to a drastic imbalance in genders from past events. Under China’s one-child policy, limiting parents to one child caused sex-selective abortions, and most parents hoped to have a son, which prevented 12 million girls from being born according to a study published by the National University of Singapore. Women can go to a nurse to draw blood for her and then send this sample of blood from mainland China to Hong Kong through a Chinese microblogging site through a postal service where blood samples are hidden in stuffed animals according to CNN.
Meanwhile, in California, there have been blood shortages due to the pandemic, since far fewer people are donating blood. “While the need for blood is constant, California, along with the rest of the nation, is experiencing the most severe blood shortage in the last ten years,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said. There is still hope in ending this blood emergency crisis by the act of kindness of people in donating blood.
The last country on this list where blood shortages and smuggling have been a significant issue, is India. In India, there have been many people smuggling blood. To highlight the details of India’s case, there has been a recent instance of the act through a doctor and his aide. The two used to mix saline water in the blood to increase the quantity. The accused smuggled blood from other states like Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan at the rate of ₹1,200 ($16.08) per unit and sold it at ₹6,000 ($80.38) per unit, according to an article posted by Hindustan Times, the accused and his aide were booked under multiple IPC sections of fraud and forgery in an FIR registered against them at Sushant Golf City police station.

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