Today, June 14th, we celebrate the World Blood Donor Day. This year, World Health Organization has chosen the campaign theme “Blood connects us all”, with the aim of highlighting and emphasizing the solidarity and connection between donors and patients.
Voluntary blood donation is a necessary pathway that helps encourage people to care for one another and promote community cohesion. Therefore, testimonials of people whose lives were saved thanks to blood donation are presented in order to keep motivating individuals who regularly donate their blood and encourage those who never have who are in a good state of health to start engaging in such a solidarity action. The campaign also aims to raise awareness among population, especially among youth, of the need to selflessly donate blood; and among all countries health ministries of the need to show recognition to voluntary unpaid blood donors and make a commitment to reach self-sufficiency with this type of donors.
About 108 million blood donations are collected globally every year, helping save millions of lives and increasing life expectancy and quality of life of people suffering diseases that can be deadly. Blood donors also have an essential role in terms of providing healthcare to new-borns and their mothers, and in unexpected situations, such as natural or human disasters, where they are key to saving the lives of many people.
Currently, only 62 countries in the world have a national blood supply network where donors are volunteers and unpaid. This has led the WHO to set a target for 2020 to encourage all countries to have their own national blood supply with this kind of donors, and to stop blood supply coming from paid donors or depending solely on family members.
This year, celebration of World Blood Donor Day will take place in Netherlands national blood supply headquarters, located in Amsterdam.