Donating blood saves lives. It is an act of compassion that is needed now more than ever. Every year on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). This global event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood.
Blood is a precious resource which has no substitute, and which cannot be made in a lab. Voluntary blood donations are the best gift you can ever give someone and will touch the lives of people in a way you can’t imagine. You may never know or see the patients who need your blood, but by donating you are saving lives.
Donating a unit of blood saves lives of those in dire need. Thousands of patients would die daily if there was insufficient quality blood in stock. One unit of blood can save up to three lives as blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.
Voluntary donations decreased significantly during the pandemic due to travel restrictions as well as fear of going to hospitals and getting infected.
While the COVID-19 crisis has taken over the world, it is become crucial to consider donating blood. The pandemic has affected blood donation drives, which has resulted in reduced stocks of blood and its components. Blood banks and transfusion services are struggling to keep up with the demand in the midst of the ongoing crisis.
The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all those who need it is not. Blood shortages are especially severe in low and middle-income countries.
Safe blood and blood products are essential resources for effective management of women and children suffering from bleeding associated with pregnancy and childbirth; children suffering from severe anaemia due to malaria and malnutrition; patients with blood and bone marrow disorders, inherited disorders of haemoglobin and immune deficiency conditions; victims of trauma, emergencies, disasters and accidents; as well as patients undergoing advanced medical and surgical procedures.
The World Health Organisation focuses this year’s campaign on the slogan: “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives”.
Throughout the month, awareness is raised for the need of safe blood. But more importantly, this month-long celebration serves the purpose of thanking voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
The WHO encourages people to commit to regular donations to help blood banks maintain adequate supplies and achieve universal and timely access to safe blood transfusion.
People can donate within 20 minutes, and it is safe to do so every 56 days. You are eligible to donate if you are:
This month we are all encouraged to learn about our blood types, how our blood can save lives and raise awareness for regular, safe blood donations.
Blood donation is not just about giving blood, but it is an act of kindness that saves the lives of hundreds of people. One day it could be you in need. Visit your nearest hospital or blood donation center today.