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World Blood Donor Day ‘23 encourages donation

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By Mercy Kelani

Blood donation is an act of solidarity that should be encouraged.

Annually, countries around the world commemorate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) on June 14. This is usually done for creation of awareness concerning the need for safe blood and blood products, as well as to appreciate voluntary and unpaid blood donors for donating life-saving gifts of blood. Blood Donation is a blood service that provides patients with access to safe blood and blood products in adequate quantity, keeping the health system effective and efficient. In 2022, last year, the theme for WBDD was “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives.”

The global theme for the 2023 World Blood Donor Day is “Give blood, give plasma, share life, share often”. It is centered in patients who require life-long transfusions support and the role to be played by every person through donation of the highly cherished gift of blood or plasma. It also has its focus on the significance of giving blood on a regular basis for creation of a safe and sustainable supply of blood and blood products. With this, it will be readily available around the world, thereby enabling every patient in need to receive treatments quickly.

Low- & middle-income countries lack access to safe blood & blood products.

Every blood donation is regarded as a valuable life-saving gift. Consequently, regular voluntary unpaid donation is considered responsible for developing a safe and sustainable blood supply. Voluntary unpaid plasma donation ensures availability of blood products for patients, particularly those whose health demand life-long transfusions such as thalassemia, sickle-cell anaemia, haemophilia and immune deficiencies. However, blood services in many countries are confronted with the challenge of ensure availability of sufficient blood, and its quality and safety.

Inaccessibility to safe blood and blood products, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, has dire impacts on every patient, including those who need regular transfusions. Many countries also require the need for increment in plasma donations for availability of sufficient plasma protein products for patients. One of the strategies of World Health Organization (WHO) is to provide assistance for low- and middle-income countries across the world to aid improvement in availability and quality of human blood.

Individuals who donate blood regularly are celebrated.

In 2005, World Blood Donor Day was officially designated as an annual commemoration by the World Health Assembly. As a means of showing support to low- and middle-income countries which have acute blood shortages, World Health Organization (WHO) assists through optimization of the plasma collected from whole blood donations, thereby increasing access to valuable plasma protein therapies for patients. The highlight of this annual event is the appreciate of voluntary blood donors across the globe who ensure the possibility of the achievement of universal access to safe blood transfusion.

Objectives for this year’s WBDD event include celebration of individuals who donate blood; encouragement of healthy people to donate blood on a regular basis, when it is safe and possible, for transformation of the quality of life of patients who are dependent on transfusion; highlighting the crucial roles of voluntary regular plasma donations in achievement of universal access to safe plasma products for the population; and mobilization of support at national, regional and global levels for investment, strengthening and sustenance of national blood programmes.

Algeria is the host country for this year 2023’s celebration.

Activities at the event include social networking campaigns, Social Media posts, meetings and workshops, donor appreciation ceremonies, special media broadcasts, musical and artistic events and others. Countries are urged to spread words of the commemoration across their nations and share stories of people to media outlets, especially transfusion-dependent patients whose lives have been saved and sustained through plasma donation. This awareness and stories will motivate blood and plasma donation. The host county for WBDD 2023 is Algeria.


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