Donating after travel overseas - Check before you donate

Are you planning on venturing off the beaten track during your OE or holiday? Or have you just returned from an exotic overseas trip? If so, there are important travel changes to New Zealand Blood Service’s (NZBS) donor eligibility criteria that you need to be aware of before you donate blood again.

Most Kiwis who travel outside New Zealand are still able to donate blood when they return.  However, travel to specific countries or geographic locations can increase your risk of exposure to certain diseases, such as Rabies, West Nile Virus, Malaria or Dengue, to name a few. Diseases such as these can result in symptomless infection(s) that can be transmitted through blood transfusions.

To ensure your well-being and the safety of New Zealand’s blood supply, NZBS is asking New Zealanders who have travelled to specific countries or geographic locations, to check before they book their next appointment to see when they can donate.

To find out which countries are deemed ‘at-risk’ and to work out when you can next donate after returning from your trip, NZBS has created a handy “Donating after Travel” tool available here. Donors simply enter the country they have recently visited, or click on the world map, to determine if there was an infection risk in the country visited.  Those who have visited a country where there is risk of infection will be advised to defer their donation for a specified period of time.

If you have any questions regarding eligibility after travel, please call NZBS on 0800 448 325 and ask to speak with a nurse.

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