Chinese Farmers Sell Blood To Make Ends Meet
According to news sources, many farmers in Central China’s Hubei Province are so poor that they have been selling their blood regularly in order to meet their financial responsibilities. During the last 11 years, almost 20,000 people have sold their blood for $25 a pop to the blood plasma collection station authorized by the local health bureau in Yunxian county.
Sadly, more than 6,000 farmers claim that selling blood is the only way the can earn enough to pay their bills. Usually, it’s 600 ccs at a time every two weeks, and the money earned is considered a “nutrition and traffic subsidy,” according to officials.
According to the central government that has done little to alleviate the plight of its destitute citizenry, this province of China, which is located along the Han River, has been considered one of the poorest areas in the country for decades.
For one couple, Gao Congfen and her husband, their son’s middle school and university education couldn’t have been provided for without the money they have gotten since the year 2000 from selling their blood.
Another 53 year-old woman named Zhou Wenfen, began selling her blood some two years ago when her three-year-old grandson was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. For her, the donation process involves an arduous journey that begins at 4 am; first one hour climbing a mountain, and then four hours traveling by boat down the Han River. She arrives at the blood collection station about noon.
“I have no other choice. I just want to get more money for my grandson for whom we have spent nearly half a million yuan in medical bills,” said Zhou.
Li Guangcheng, former deputy director of the county health bureau, established the station back in 1998, and every year since, they receive about 60, 000 packages of donated blood for which donors are paid some 10 million yuan (about 1.5 million US dollars) in total.
“The station’s establishment and management including the subsidy are all in accordance with relevant laws and standards… We cannot forbid farmers from donating blood only because they come here for the subsidy,” said a blood plasma station official named Chen.
A sad state of affairs for China’s poverty-stricken.
One can only wonder:
Who will give them blood should it be needed?