Unaware Makes Unloved

Conference award Lisa Klinkenberg

Lisa Klinkenberg, PhD-candidate at the Donor Cognition research group, won the best paper award at the D.C. Health Communication conference near Washington D.C.Her research shows that African migrants have more positive attitudes towards blood donation if they are more aware of blood donation.

Sociologist Lisa Klinkenberg conducts her PhD-research in the area of recruitment and retention of ethnic minority and migrant blood donors. The study she presented at the conference focused on migrants with an African background living in the Netherlands.

More blood donation awareness

Lisa found in her study that migrants with an African background less often know blood donors in their social network and less frequently are familiar with Sanquin than Dutch individuals with no migration background. Also, African migrants are also relatively less acquainted with the importance and justness of donating blood. However, when this group is more aware of blood donation, the attitudes towards blood donation also seem to be more positive. An important finding to consider for the donor recruitment at Sanquin.

Lisa’s study was well judged at the conference: she was selected to give an oral presentation and submit a conference paper. This paper was awarded as the “top paper” of the conference. She will revise the paper further for a publication in a scientific journal.

Different blood type compositions

Sanquin aims to recruit more blood donors with a non-western background. Their blood type compositions are often different from Dutch individuals with a western background. To give patients with a genetic origin from other parts of the world well-matched blood transfusions, it is essential to have enough non-Western blood donors.


Unknown makes Unloved: Blood donation awareness and attitudes among people of White majority an African minority background. Lisa Klinkenberg, Mirjam Fransen, Lisanne Huis in ’t veld, Wim de Kort en Julia van Weert.