World Blood Donor Day: How you can make a difference



By NewsGram Staff Writer

Blood donation is one of the noblest services one can do for humankind. Transfusion of blood saves millions of lives all over the world every year.

June 14th has been marked by the World Health Organization to celebrate World Blood Donor Day annually to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to salute blood donors for their selfless service.

This year, the theme of this campaign is “Thank you for saving my life.”

It encourages donors all over the world to donate blood voluntarily.
Their slogan is, “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters.”

According to a report by WHO, the need for blood and blood products is increasing every year. In many areas- particularly low and middle income countries – demand exceeds supply, and blood services find it hard to make sufficient blood available while also ensuring its quality and safety.

“The best way to guarantee a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products for transfusion is to have regular donations by voluntary unpaid blood donors,” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, in the report.

The report stated that WHO provides policy guidance and technical aid to support countries in developing national blood systems based on voluntary unpaid blood donations. Efforts are also made to implement quality systems to ensure that safe and quality blood and blood products are available and used appropriately for all people who need them.

This year China will host World Blood Donor Day at the Shanghai Blood Center, a collaborating center for blood transfusion services of WHO in China.

Many people are afraid of donating blood due to the common misconception that it decreases the strength of a person. Another fear prevalent among the masses is that blood donation might transmit AIDS and other blood diseases.

NewsGram presents some facts about blood donation that might erase the misconceptions and encourage readers to donate blood:

1) Anyone who is in good health, at least 17 years old and weighs at least 50 kg may donate blood every 56 days.

2) Donating blood does not decrease the strength of the donor.

3) The bone marrow produces new blood cells in order to replenish the lost blood cells during donation.

4) AIDS and other blood diseases do not get transmitted during blood donation.

5) A single blood donation can save up to three lives.

6) Blood donation not only helps the one receiver but also improves the health of the donor by reducing cholesterol level and burning extra calories.

Every three seconds, there’s a requirement of blood around the world.

By donating blood, one does not just experience a sense of satisfaction, but also that of accomplishment.  All of us must do our bit to save a life.