World Blood Donor Day takes place on 14 June each year. The aim is to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion and of the critical contribution voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to national health systems. The day also provides an opportunity to call to action to governments and national health authorities to provide adequate resources and put into place systems and infrastructures to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors.
Safe blood and blood products and their transfusion are a critical aspect of care and public health. They save millions of lives and improve the health and quality of life of many patients every day. The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all those who need it is not. Blood shortages are particularly acute in developing countries.
To ensure that everyone who needs safe blood has access to it, all countries need voluntary, unpaid donors who give blood regularly. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, despite limited mobility and other challenges, blood donors in many countries have continued to donate blood and plasma to patients who need transfusion. This extraordinary effort during a time of unprecedented crisis highlights the crucial role of well-organized, committed voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors in ensuring a safe and sufficient blood supply during normal and emergency times.
Focus of 2021 campaign
For 2021, the World Blood Donor Day slogan will be “Give blood and keep the world beating”. The message highlights the essential contribution blood donors make to keeping the world pulsating by saving lives and improving others’ health. It reinforces the global call for more people all over the world to donate blood regularly and contribute to better health.
A special focus of this year’s campaign will be the role of young people in ensuring a safe blood supply. In many countries, young people have been at the forefront of activities and initiatives aimed at achieving safe blood supplies through voluntary, non-remunerated blood donations. Young people form a large sector of the population in many societies and are generally full of idealism, enthusiasm and creativity.
The specific objectives of this year’s campaign are to:
- thank blood donors in the world and create wider public awareness of the need for regular, unpaid blood donation;
- promote the community values of blood donation in enhancing community solidarity and social cohesion;
- encourage youth to embrace the humanitarian call to donate blood and inspire others to do the same;
- celebrate the potential of youth as partners in promoting health.
WHO steps up action to improve access to safe blood
WHO has set out six key objectives for all countries and in particular those with weak blood systems:
- appropriately structured, well-coordinated and sustainably resourced national blood systems;
- regulatory capacity to ensure the quality and safety of blood;
- functioning and efficiently managed blood services;
- effective implementation of patient blood management to optimize transfusion practices;
- effective surveillance, haemovigilance and pharmacovigilance, supported by comprehensive and accurate data collection systems;
- partnerships, collaboration and information exchange to achieve key priorities and jointly address challenges and emerging threats at global, regional and national levels.
Source of info: WHO
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