June 7th is World Blood Donor Day.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), World Blood Donor Day was created to:
· raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion;
· highlight the critical contribution voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to national health systems;
· support national blood transfusion services, blood donor organizations and other nongovernmental organizations in strengthening and expanding their voluntary blood donor programs by reinforcing national and local campaigns.
The day also provides an opportunity to call to action governments and national health authorities to provide adequate resources to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, unpaid blood donors and to manage access to blood and the transfusion of those who require it.
Blood and blood products are essential resources for effective management of women suffering from bleeding associated with pregnancy and childbirth; children suffering from severe anemia due to malaria and malnutrition; patients with blood and bone marrow disorders, inherited disorders of hemoglobin and immune deficiency conditions; victims of trauma, emergencies, disasters and accidents; as well as patients undergoing advanced medical and surgical procedures. The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all those who need it is not. Blood shortages are particularly acute in low- and middle-income countries.
To ensure that everyone who needs transfusion has access to safe blood, all countries need voluntary, unpaid blood donors who give blood regularly. An effective blood donor program, characterized by wide and active participation of the population, is crucial in meeting the need of blood transfusion during peace time as well as during emergencies or disasters, when there is a surge in demand for blood or when the normal operation of blood services is affected. While an enabling social and cultural atmosphere with strong solidarity facilitates development of an effective blood donor program, it is also widely acknowledged that the act of blood donation contributes to generating social ties and building a united community.
For 2022, the World Blood Donor Day slogan is “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives” to draw attention to the roles that voluntary blood donations play in saving lives and enhancing solidarity within communities.
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;
· highlight the need for committed, year-round blood donation, to maintain adequate supplies and achieve universal and timely access to safe blood transfusion;
· recognize and promote the values of voluntary unpaid blood donation in enhancing community solidarity and social cohesion;
· raise awareness of the need for increased investment from governments to build a sustainable and resilient national blood system and increase collection from voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.
A particular activity that countries in the world are encouraged to implement for this year’s campaign is to disseminate to various media outlets stories of people whose lives have been saved through blood donation as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood, and to motivate people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so.
Other activities that would help promote the slogan of this year’s World Blood Donor Day may include donor appreciation ceremonies, social networking campaigns, special media broadcasts, social media posts featuring individual blood donors with the slogan, meetings and workshops, musical and artistic events to thank blood donors and celebrate solidarity, and coloring iconic monuments red.
Mexico will host World Blood Donor Day 2022 through its National Blood Centre. The global event will be held in Mexico City on June 14, 2022.