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Blood from umbilical cords could be given to children who are acutely ill with malaria, according to new research.

Children with malaria develop anaemia because the malaria parasite destroys the red blood cells that shunt oxygen around the body. But in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is rife, spare blood is often in short supply.

A study at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, found that sufficient blood could be collected from umbilical cords and placentas in the hospital's maternity ward to transfuse 60 per cent of anaemic children awaiting blood in the same hospital.

Link to Nature Science Update story

Source: Nature Science Update

Photo credit: WHO/TDR/Crump

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