Introduction of World Blood Donor Day
Every year on June 14th, the World Health Organization (WHO) observes World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). This day is observed to increase awareness about the need to donate blood and acknowledge the contributions of unpaid volunteer donors in saving people's lives. Availability of clean and safe blood and blood products can also help lower the number of deaths and injuries caused by excessive bleeding both during and after childbirth. The goal is to promote international awareness of the need for healthy blood and blood products for donation and the essential role that voluntary blood donors play in health care systems. The day also serves as a clear message for governments and national medical authorities to provide sufficient means and set up mechanisms and infrastructural facilities to enhance blood collection from unpaid, voluntary blood contributors.
History of World Blood Donor Day
WHO commemorated the first World Blood Donor Day in 2004. In 2005, it was proclaimed as an annual worldwide event at the 58th World Health Assembly. The day marks the birth anniversary of Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian biologist and physician. He is regarded as the father of modern blood transfusion and received the Nobel Prize for discovering the ABO blood types. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was established with the objective of expanding worldwide awareness of the significance of safe blood donation by healthy individuals.
Significance of World Blood Donor Day
Safe blood and blood products and their transfusion are essential components of treatment and healthcare. The importance of the day stems from the fact that they save millions of people's lives and enhance the health and wellbeing of many people on a daily basis. Although there is a ubiquitous need for blood, not everybody has exposure to it. Blood scarcity is especially serious in developing nations. Although the Covid-19 outbreak has hit us in many ways, yet donors from numerous countries have continued to give blood to those who need it. This outstanding endeavour has highlighted the vital necessity of well-organized, dedicated, voluntary blood donations in ensuring safe blood flow for recipients during emergency situations.
Why is World Blood Donor Day Important?
There are many reasons as to why World Blood Donor Day is celebrated. Some of the major ones are as follows:
- Every country on the planet, obviously, need a sufficient blood supply. Many affluent countries can currently fulfil 100 per cent of their blood supply demands with unpaid blood transfusions.
- Getting donors and ensuring the safety of the blood is still a major challenge in underdeveloped countries, and they frequently have to rely on family or sponsored transfusions. As a result, it has become a worldwide concern.
- Blood donations are constantly in need.
- As less as about 10 percent of the "eligible" people donate blood. Blood donation is a voluntary act. World Blood Donor Day is an important reminder of how there can never be such a thing as "too many blood donations."
- Prior to the widespread use of blood and blood products, lives were frequently lost due to a lack of blood supply. Blood transfusions help to meet a broad range of medical demands, from simple treatments to emergency operations, and so on.
- Blood transfusions are an essential component of the prescribed therapy of cancer and pregnant women and in the event of a tragedy like a car accident.
How to Celebrate / Observe World Blood Donor Day?
The most common ways followed across the world to observe this day are as follows:
- Finding a local event: One can check online to see whether there are any special activities in one's region to commemorate World Blood Donor Day, such as rallies or pop-up donation locations. On June 14th, many blood donation centres, clinics, and organizations host unique, entertaining programs to commemorate the anniversary and increase blood donations.
- Give blood as and when possible: If one is qualified, one simply needs to devote approximately an hour of the day to this life-saving procedure. When one goes for donation and check-in, one will be provided with a mini-physical to ensure one is in good enough health to give blood. The entire blood collection procedure generally requires just over 10 minutes, where they take one unit of blood from each individual.
- Spreading the message: If one is unable to donate blood or do not have the leisure, spreading the message more about the significance of World Blood Donor Day may have a significant influence. One should inform friends, relatives, co-workers, and followers on social media platforms about the importance of blood donations. Because many individuals are uninformed of the method's simplicity, expression is extremely effective in encouraging prospective blood donors.
Themes and Events of World Blood Donor Day
- The theme for World Blood Donor Day 2012 was "Every blood donor is a hero." The event was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, hosted by the Korean Red Cross and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea.
- The theme for World Blood Donor Day 2013 was "give the gift of life: donate blood". France was the host country for World Blood Donor Day 2013. Since the 1950s, France has promoted voluntary non-remunerated blood transfusions through its national blood service, the Etablissement Français du Sang (EFS). The same year, a worldwide event was organized in Paris.
- The theme for World Blood Donor Day 2016 was "blood connects us all". The 2016 campaign's tagline was "Share life, donate blood." More than 40 years have passed since the first World Health Assembly resolution (WHA28.72) discussed blood security, equity in access to safe blood and blood products, and the rational use of blood transfusion. Today, however, only 62 countries meet nearly all of their national blood needs through volunteer blood donations, with the other 40 countries relying on family and paid donors. WHO has been assisting the Member States in strengthening the delivery of services as well as increased accessibility to safe blood and blood products for those who need it.
- The theme for World Blood Donor Day 2019 was "safe blood for all". The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2019 was Rwanda.
- The slogan for World Blood Day 2021, which was recently observed on June 14th, was "Give blood and keep the world-beating". The day was hosted by Italy virtually. The specific objectives for this year are: to appreciate all blood donors across the world and raise public awareness about the importance of frequent, unpaid blood donation, to urge young people to respond to the humanitarian appeal to give blood and to motivate others to do the same, celebrating the potential of kids as partners in health promotion, to promote the communal ideals of blood donation in order to strengthen community cooperation and social cohesion etc.