Every year, on June 14, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event serves to raise awareness about the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. The objectives of this year’s campaign include to encourage all people to strengthen the emergency preparedness of health services in their community by donating blood. The campaign aims to engage authorities in the establishment of effective national blood donor programmes with the capacity to respond promptly to the increase in blood demand during emergencies. It seeks to promote the inclusion of blood transfusion services in national emergency preparedness and response activities. It also builds public awareness of the need for committed, year-round blood donation, in order to maintain adequate supplies and achieve a national self-sufficiency of blood. It also celebrates and thanks individuals who donate blood regularly and encourages young people to become new donors as well. The campaign promotes international collaboration and to ensure worldwide dissemination of and consensus on the principles of voluntary non-remunerated donation, while increasing blood safety and availability.
The lives and health of millions of people are affected by emergencies every year. Over the last decade, natural disasters have caused more than 1 million deaths. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods and storms, create considerable needs for emergency health care. Man-made disasters such as road accidents and armed conflicts also generate substantial health care demands and the need for front-line treatment. There is a constant need for regular blood supply because blood can be stored for only a limited time before use. Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person: the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life or even several if your blood is separated into its components – red cells, platelets and plasma – which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions.
Dr Zeeshan Khan