Women donate at a blood drive held by Donner Sang Compter, Friday, July 8, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Any resident of Lebanon is familiar with the regular urgent appeals on social media for blood donations to help patients facing surgeries, car accident victims and women giving birth.When Aya Chamseddine was studying in Abu Dhabi, she had given blood at a university drive.Upon arrival at Sahel General Hospital – along with a crowd of men waiting to donate – Chamseddine said she was turned away by the receptionist and by a supervisor, who told her that women were not allowed to give blood.Dr. Nizar Bitar, director of Sahel's blood bank, said the hospital has no policy against women donating blood.Bitar went on to say that men are often more suitable as donors because women are prone to anemia and often have a lower weight, which can make giving blood risky.For instance, a hospital in a conservative Muslim area might not accept female donors if it has only male lab technicians available to draw the blood.
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