Muslim community ambassadors launch appeal to donate plasma for COVID research
A new appeal launched today is urging more men from Muslim communities nationwide who have had coronanvirus (COVID-19) to register as plasma donors. Several community ambassadors have already donated plasma and are appealing to others like them to do the same.
Plasma from people who’ve had coronavirus might save the lives of people who are struggling to develop their own immune response to the virus.
Dr Hina Shahid, Muslim Doctors Association, said: “If you are a Muslim man who has recovered from COVID-19 – especially if you were hospitalised - we strongly encourage you to donate blood plasma and support this research to help develop new treatments for COVID-19 patients”.
Donors are being sought from every community. However, people from an Asian background have been more badly affected by coronavirus. This means they produce more antibodies in response, which makes them more able to help others.
Heider Ridha from the Turn to Love partnership said: “This campaign in partnership with the NHS Blood and Transplant is inspired by the verse from the Quran: ‘Whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved all of humanity…’ (Holy Quran 5:32.)
“So many of us have been affected by COVID-19 and this is a real chance we can help to make a difference.”
Professor Dave Roberts, Associate Medical Director for Blood Donation at NHSBT, said: “The high infection rates mean more people than ever are now able to help – the time to donate is now.
“We want both Muslim men and women to donate, and people of all levels of illness can potentially donate. However, we especially need donations from people in Muslim communities who’ve had hospital care."
“Men who have had hospital care are around six times more likely to have the high antibody levels which might save lives.
“Donation is safe and easy and your body quickly replaces the donated antibodies.”
Community ambassador, Mustafa Mohamed said: “We know, as Muslims who are greatly affected by this virus what it is like seeing our communities lose loved ones. This is our chance, by donating plasma, to try and help others.”
“The process was quick, easy and I felt completely safe.”
NHSBT is collecting plasma for new trials for older people and those at high risk, to treat them early in the course of the infection.
Donations are being taken at NHSBT’s 23 blood donor centres and a further 20 pop-up plasma donor centres. Donation takes about 45 minutes. Your body quickly replaces the donated plasma and donated antibodies. All donations are tested for COVID antibodies.
- The Turn to Love partnership is working in partnership with NHSBT to address an urgent appeal for people from Muslim communities who have had coronavirus to donate plasma, as this may help people who are still ill. Campaign partners include the Muslim Doctors Association, the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign, the Islamic Unity Society, the Muslim Council of Britain and the Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board.
- A man booked in to donate for the first time is three times more likely to give a high antibody unit of plasma than a woman booked in to donate for the first time. Donors from black and Asian backgrounds are more than twice as likely to have a high antibody unit of plasma.