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HEALTH

Norway imports blood amid donor shortfall

With blood donors thin on the ground, Norway currently has little option but to import blood from elsewhere in Europe.

Norway imports blood amid donor shortfall
Photo: Scanpix (File)

Across the continent, only Estonia has fewer blood donors per head of population than Norway, Aftenposten reports.

“The World Health Organisation and the Red Cross strongly recommend that every country ensures it has enough volunteer, unpaid blood donors to meet its own needs,” Professor Hans Erik Heier of Blodbanken told the newspaper.

“Blood should be donated to help other people, not to earn money. Twenty percent of the world’s population uses 80 percent of the blood on the market. If we’re a burden, others will get less,” he added.

According to Heier, around 50,000 patients need blood transfusions every year. Norway is home to 95,000 donors, but 30,000 more are needed to meet demand, he said.

Over the last four years, the donor shortfall has forced Norwegian blood banks to buy blood plasma products from abroad.

Norway is now in talks with other countries about securing a supply of blood for the coming years.

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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