Call for more stem cell donors with non-European background

3:23 min

People with blood disorders desperately need to find a stem cell donor that matches them, and if you have roots from outside Europe it can be far harder to get the treatment you need.

The Tobias register has been building up a list of stem cell donors in Sweden since 1992, but it has far fewer people in its files with a non-European background.

People from Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa only have a 20 per cent chance of a match, compared with all patients in Sweden who have an 80 per cent chance.

One man who is in need of a donor, Erik Jaime, told Swedish Television that because he has a parent from Angola he has found it difficult to find a match. As a result he has started a social media campaign to get more people with roots outside Europe to sign up as donors.

To be a stem cell donor in Sweden you must:

- Be between 18 and 35 years of age.
- Meet the height/weight requirements.
- Complete a cheek swab test.
- Understand that you'll remain on the registry until your 60th birthday.
- Be entirely healthy and have a permanent residence permit in Sweden.
- Be willing to give to anyone, anywhere, at any time.


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