KOTA TINGGI: Blood found to be contaminated with infectious diseases remains low at less than 2% of the total collected through donation campaigns last year.
Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng said contrary to the notion that much of it could be bad blood, only 6,845 units of the 418,000 collected through donation campaigns were contaminated with infectious diseases.
Of the 6,845 units, 145 units were contaminated with HIV, 5,107 with Hepatitis B, 705 with Hepatitis C and 888 with syphilis, he said.
However, he said some 10,000 more units of blood had to destroyed because they were unsuitable for use for various reasons, such the red blood cells breaking down during collection or transportation.
While donating blood can help save lives, donating contaminated blood can put the recipient at risk, he said after launching a blood donation campaign organised by Tenggara MCA division yesterday.
Chua said the reason contaminated blood was relatively low in Malaysia was because the blood received were donated voluntarily and not through the replacement donor method, whereby a patient's family or friends are asked to donate blood.
The risk of receiving contaminated blood through non-voluntary methods is higher because such donors may feel pressured and may not be truthful about their health status.
However, there were those who still donated blood despite knowing their health condition, he added.
Chua said some people donated blood to receive a free health check as officials would screen the blood and immediately inform the donor on the results.