By: Lailuma Noori
World Blood Donor Day takes place on 14 June each year. In May 2005, during 58th World Health Assembly (WHA), ministers of health from all around the world unanimously declared their commitment and support towards voluntary blood donation and with resolution WHA58.13, they designated World Blood Donor Day as an annual event which will be held each year on 14 June.
The aim for marking the World Blood Donor Day is to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion and of the critical contribution voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to national health systems.
The day also provides an opportunity to call to action to governments and national health authorities to provide adequate resources and put into place systems and infrastructures to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors. Transfusion of blood and blood products helps and save millions of lives every year. It can help patients who suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care. Access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products can help reduce rates of death and disability due to severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth.
In many countries, there is not an adequate supply of safe blood, and blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety. An adequate supply can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary unpaid blood donors. The WHO’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors.
Safe blood and blood products and their transfusion are a critical aspect of care and public health. They save millions of lives and improve the health and quality of life of many patients every day. The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all those who need it is not. Blood shortages are particularly acute in developing countries. To ensure that everyone who needs safe blood has access to it, all countries need voluntary, unpaid donors who give blood regularly. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, despite limited mobility and other challenges, blood donors in many countries have continued to donate blood and plasma to patients who need transfusion. This extraordinary effort during a time of unprecedented crisis highlights the crucial role of well-organized, committed voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors in ensuring a safe and sufficient blood supply during normal and emergency times.
For 2021, the World Blood Donor Day slogan is “Give blood and keep the world beating”. The message highlights the essential contribution blood donors make to keeping the world pulsating by saving lives and improving others’ health. It reinforces the global call for more people all over the world to donate blood regularly and contribute to better health.
A special focus of this year’s campaign will be the role of young people in ensuring a safe blood supply. In many countries, young people have been at the forefront of activities and initiatives aimed at achieving safe blood supplies through voluntary, non-remunerated blood donations. Young people form a large sector of the population in many societies and are generally full of idealism, enthusiasm and creativity.
In Afghanistan, Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on the occasion of marking the World Blood Donor Day is praising blood donors who are voluntarily donating blood to save lives of our countrymen. Based on information of Central Blood Bank, the number of those donating voluntarily blood in the country has increased unprecedentedly in recent years. Marking the World Blood Donor Day is a good opportunity for collecting blood for those in need.