The most precious gift that we humans can give each other is the donation of blood, a gift that can save lives and give a new lease of life to many persons in need. The World Health Organization in league with international blood donor agencies recognizes and in appreciation of blood donors, who are voluntary and unpaid, celebrates the World Blood Donor Day on June 14th every year. This day also marks the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, who discovered the ABO blood group system and was awarded the Nobel Prize for it. The day also focuses on the importance of donating blood, motivating more people to donate blood and the need to clear misconceptions about blood donations. The day also emphasizes the need for blood especially in developing countries where there are fewer than 10 donations per thousand people and the need for blood is high.
The Need for Blood Donations
The need for safe blood cannot be over stressed. Every day critical medical emergencies, trauma cases, accidents, require blood transfusions. Women with complications during pregnancy, severely anemic women and children, cancer patients, persons suffering from sickle-cell anemia, thalassemia, and hemophilia require blood transfusions.
World Blood Donor Day
Every year across different countries and regions many activities and events are organized to celebrate the day. Right from football matches to free concerts and from mobile blood donation clinics to monumental decorations.
WHO and its partners are motivating many communities all across the globe to join the World Blood Donor Day 2011 campaign. The campaign says “Paint the world red” and the message is conveyed through lighting or covering monuments, symbolic coloring popular landmarks and buildings in red, forming a “human blood drop” in public places or by organizing programs in an artistic or musical way with a red colored theme.
World Blood Donor Day 14th June
The campaign of the World Blood Donor day focuses on ‘Young Donors’ with a fresh slogan ‘New blood for the World’. The lanuch of the World Blood Donor Day will take place in Barcelona, Spain. The 2010 campaign for blood donation targets the young in all its activities and celebrations, hoping that the new generation of motivated, non remunerated donors will create a bank of safe blood that will help save lives whenever necessary. The campaign believes that young donors will form a long term commitment and help improve a country’s safety and requirements of blood supply. Even young people who for some reason cannot donate blood can work as volunteers to advocate blood donations. The events that take place during the World Blood Donor Day range from cultural activities, sporting events, media and campaign partnerships, educational activities, thanking donors and an award of ‘Donor of the Year’. In the year 2010 initiatives like the ‘Young Ambassadors’ programs, Club 25, media campaigns focusing on the younger generation and related youth programs are on the anvil.
Earlier World Blood Donor Days
- In 2004 at Johannesburg, the focus was on youth.
- In 2005 at London recipients and patients expressed their gratitude.
- In 2006 Thailand focused on community participation.
- In 2007 in Philippines, the slogan was ‘safe blood for safe motherhood.’
- In 2008 Dubai focus was on giving blood regularly for safe and sustainable blood supplies.
- In 2009 at Australia the catchphrase was self-sufficiency through voluntary plasma donation.