DOHA: A and O Negative blood groups are rare but some seven percent (nearly 1,700) of voluntary blood donors in the country last year were from these groups. The AB Negative blood group is rarest.
It is also common to hear announcements for requests for donors from this group on local radio.
Official figures show that a vast majority of blood donors in Qatar in 2013 were from O Positive blood group, followed by those with A Positive.
Of some 24,303 people who donated blood in 2013, more than a third (41 percent) were from the O Positive Group. A quarter of the total donors (25 percent) were from the A Positive Group.
People with negative blood groups were not easy to find as their percentages were quite low: four percent donors were from O Negative, while three percent had A Negative, and two percent B Negative.
These details were provided by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics in a release yesterday.
It coincided with International Blood Donation Day today, with the ministry saying that its aim is to raise awareness about blood donation in the country.
Figures show there has only been a marginal growth in the number of blood donors in Qatar relative to population in the past five years. Per capita blood donors were one every 97.9 people in 2009 — slightly improved to 84.15 in 2013.
There were 16,666 donors in 2009, and the number went up to 24,303 in 2013, the ministry said. But it didn’t cite population figures for 2009 and 2013.
The population in 2009 was a little over 1.63 million (1,631,728), which grew to 2.04m (2,045,239) last year — up 413,500. Male donors had a 96 percent share in the total, with the ministry citing no reasons for the poor percentage of women donors.
Mothers were the largest beneficiaries of blood donation in 2013, the ministry said. Sources in the medical fraternity, in remarks to The Peninsula, however, attributed several reasons for the low turnout of women for blood donation.
First, their share in the population is only a third. For example, there were 377,636 women in a population of 1.63m.
Second, women are not as mobile in society and or have access to information about blood donation drives as men have.
Third, they lose a lot of blood during menstruation so they generally avoid donating blood, and lastly, women in general do not like to take injections.