Travelers: Want to Donate Blood? Think Again…
by Stefanie Michaels
I recently learned that I can not donate blood. I’ve traveled the world for work, and frustratingly can’t help people around the globe in the smallest of ways, by simply donating my blood.
I’ve got the travelers travesty. I’ve been exposed to far too much to insure that my blood is safe, even though I had taken my anti-malaria medication.
Looking back, could it have been the trip to South Africa, Exuma or Thailand- which is not on the list, but to the hospital where I was planning to give my blood, it was the deal breaker that sent me into the ineligible file.
If you’ve been pondering, “I think I’ll do a nice thing and donate some blood”, think again! Before you head down to a donation center, make sure you call ahead to your local hospital or the Red Cross to see if you may be eligible.
The chart below breaks down some global locations. If you’ve traveled to any of them in the list below, this may determine whether or not you are eligible or not to donate your blood.
|Africa||Algeria – No deferral.
Kenya – All at risk including game parks except for no risk in the city of Nairobi.
Nigeria – Not eligible for 12 months after return.
South Africa – Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth – No deferral.
Game parks, Northern, NE Kwa Zula-Natal, Mpumalanga Provinces – Not Eligible for one year after return.
Tanzania – Not eligible for 12 months after return.
Uganda – Not eligible for 12 months after return.
|Azerbaijan||Risk in all areas except no risk in Baku.|
|Belize||Belize City – No deferral.
All other areas outside of Belize City – Not eligible for one year after return.
|Caribbean||Bahamas – No deferral, except for travel to Great Exuma Island which would make donor ineligible to donate for one year after return.
Dominican Republic – Entire country at risk for malaria except for the cities of Santo Domingo and Santiago.
Grand Cayman – No deferral.
Haiti – Not eligible for one year after return.
Jamaica – No deferal.
Roatan, Honduras – Not eligible for 12 months after return.
Puerto Rico – No deferral.
|China||Large cities and typical tourist areas including Yangtze River cruise – No deferral.
Travel to rural, non-tourist areas – Not eligible for one year after return.
|Costa Rica||No deferral except for travel to the Limon Province (except Limon City which is acceptable). Only Limon province is at risk.|
|Ecuador||Large cities in central highlands acceptable (Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca) and Galapagos Islands – No deferral.|
|El Salvador||Cities of San Salvador, San Miguel, San Vincente, Sonsonate, and Chalatenango- No deferral.
Rural areas of Santa Ana, Ahuachapan La Paz and La Union provinces – Not eligible for 12 months after return.
|Europe||No deferral unless stayed for more than 6 months associated with the military between 1980 and 1996 or stayed for more than 5 years from 1980 to the present.
United Kingdom – No deferral unless stayed for more than 3 months between 1980 and 1996.
|Guatemala||Large cities including Antigua, Lake Atitlan and Guatemala City – No deferral.
Risk in rural areas – Not eligible for 12 months after return.
|India||Not eligible for 12 months after return.|
|Mexico||Acapulco – No deferral.
Cabo San Lucas – No deferral.
Calica – No deferral if you did not travel outside of the heavily traveled tourist areas or into the jungle/rural areas.
Cancun – No deferral if you did not travel outside of heavily traveled tourist area or into rural/jungle areas.
Cozumel – No deferral.
Isla Mujeres – No deferral.
Oaxaca – No deferral is stayed in city, travel to rural areas one year from date of return.
Playa del Carmen – No deferral if you did not travel outside of the heavily traveled tourist areas or into the jungle/rural areas.
Progresso – No deferral.
Puerto Vallarta – No deferral.
|Panama||Panama City and Canal Zone area is acceptable.
Travel to rural areas of the provinces of Bocas del Toro, San Blas including San Blas Islands, Veraguas and Darien provinces – Not eligible for 12 months.
|Peru||Large cities south of Lima, Cusco, Machupicchu – No deferral.|
|Saudi Arabia||No deferral for cities along East Coast, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, Taif, Riyadh, risk in Al Bahah, Al Madinah, Asir, Jizan, Makkah, Najran an Tabuk provinces.|
|Venezuela||Large cities along coast (Caracas, Maracaibo, Valencia) are acceptable.
Travel to rural areas and provinces along borders of Columbia, Guyana and Brazil – Not be eligible for one year after return.
Please check a far more comprehensive Red Cross eligibility page
The video below shares interesting facts about donating blood.
Stefanie Michaels, aka ‘Adventure Girl’, spends more than 180 days a year on the road seeking out great spots for adventures, dining, shopping, hotels and more. Dubbed “America’s Sweetheart” by Vanity Fair Magazine for being one of Twitter’s first icon’s to reach over 1 million followers, her fans continue to grow across all of her digital media platforms. Follow her @adventuregirl as she shares photos, updates and more.