Across the years, in items about blood donation, we’ve mentioned that in many cases intending British donors are often turned away. And that’s in a country with a shortage of blood which is especially serious in this region. The Alpes-Maritimes is one of the rare departments which has to import blood from beyond its own borders.
So why the ban? Following advice from the World Health Organisation, in 2001 the French banned from giving blood anyone who’d spent 12 months or more in the UK between 1980 and 1996. There was a risk – very small, said some (but not all) experts – that they might have blood infected with CJD, the human form of mad cow disease.
Recently there was some talk of this ban on British blood being relaxed. But now the Ministry of Health – Bon sang! – says there are no plans to do this.