In Barbados, there is the widespread cultural belief that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people (particularly men who have sex with men [MSM] and trans women) are not permitted to donate blood. There is in fact, no legislation on this matter, but homophobia and transphobia, along with the absence of a clear governmental policy propels the perception.
Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic has made blood donation during times of restricted movement an even more urgent issue in perilous times. This project was designed to advocate for the implementation of non-discriminatory blood
donation policies in Barbados while simultaneously challenging discriminatory practices by healthcare professionals, gauging current attitudes and practices around blood donation by LGBTQ people, and educating policymakers, healthcare professionals, the LGBTQ community and wider public on the need for such non-discriminatory practices and policies.
This project is being funded by the Women Deliver Young Leaders Small Programs Grant and seeks to deliver on the following objectives:
- The collection of data from LGBTQ persons and healthcare professionals in Barbados on
practices of blood donation discrimination in Barbados to support and substantiate
- Providing evidence of discrimination against LGBTQ persons who wish to donate blood
by conducting in-person visits to the blood donation centre.
- Conducting sensitisation training with healthcare professionals in Barbados, within the
- Engagement with the Ministry of Health and Wellness around the development of an
inclusive and non-discriminatory policy of blood donation and adherence to its
- Public and community education on policy around blood donation in Barbados.