Some villagers in Jieyang lease their houses for the "Blood-heads" [Information Times]
A registration list for blood donation forged by the "Blood-heads" [Information Times]
According to a note book of a "blood slave", he "donated" his blood seven times within a half month [Information Times]
Green copperas, one of the drugs for boosting blood generation [Information Times]
Poor living conditions of the blood slaves. Usually, over ten persons live in one small house. [Information Times]
Blood donators/sellers lining up in Jieyang Blood Center [Information Times]
Blood sellers paid in the afternoon after selling their blood in the morning [Information Times]
F used to be a high-school teacher. After he gave up his job for some reason, he could not find a new one in Guangzhou. Then, he was lead by a "blood head" to Jieyang, a city in the east of Guangdong, where he made a living by selling his blood from May, 2006 to February, 2007.
In fact, he traveled almost everywhere in eastern Guangdong including Chaozhou, Shanwei, Meizhou, Heyuan etc, to sell his blood. As recorded in his diary, he had done it over 50 times, on average 4 to 7 times a month. In order to meet the "demand", he had to take green copperas, Vitamin B12 and some other drugs to boost his blood generation.
According to an investigation assisted by F, there is a "base" of professional blood sellers in Jieyang with a history of 20 years. It has hundreds of "blood slaves" lead by a dozen "blood heads", who belong to several "parties" headed by "blood kings".
These blood slaves include some who are too lazy to go to work, some who are escaping from debts or even the police, and some others like F. Although they live in poor conditions, usually ten or more individuals sleeping on the floor of a single house rented by the blood head, they eat quite well, in order to generate blood. Without a job, they mostly kill their time in net-cafes and gambling. As they sell their blood too often, 16 times a month at most, some of them are too weak to work.
Well organized, they sell their blood in an "industrial chain": for example, when a blood station in Chaozhou needs 5 Type A blood suppliers and 12 Type B suppliers, it will tell a "blood king" the night before, and the "king" will further the information down to the "heads" and to the "slaves". Those needed, with forged identity cards, will then travel from their "base" to Chaozhou the next morning, "donate" their blood, and receive the subsidies. Such a "chain" is mainly caused by the gap between blood supplies and demand in eastern Guangdong, along with loopholes in the current system of blood collection and donation.
By selling blood, they earn around RMB1,500 a month. The "blood heads" earn around RMB6,000 by selling blood themselves and charging their "slaves" for "loyalty" and food and accommodation., whereas the income of the "blood kings", who do not sell blood themselves, can reach RMB40,000 a month. They are even involved in violent fights for "market shares".
According to experts, frequent loss of blood especially over 2000 ml a month can hinder the operation of one's organs, with lack of blood oxygen. In the long term, it may endanger the blood seller's life by causing anemic heart diseases.
In order to tackle this problem, it is suggested that the current system of blood collection and donation be improved by protecting some disadvantaged individuals from being taken by the blood heads, holding blood centers responsible for keeping their information in confidence, identifying forged identities and confining the registration of blood donators to formal staff members of organizations etc.
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