14 June: World Blood Donor Day
World Blood Donor Day was observed on 14 June 2013 across the world. This day is observed every year on 14 June with an aim of creating a worldwide culture of voluntary blood donation. Theme selected for the year 2013 is Give the Gift of Life: Donate Blood.
The main objective of the campaign is to thank donors and their life-saving blood gifts and to promote the voluntary unpaid blood donation. The 10th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day will focus on the value of donated blood to the patient, not only in saving life, but also in helping people live longer and more productive lives.
The need for blood and blood products is increasing every year, and many patients requiring life-saving transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood and blood products.
Regular voluntary unpaid blood donors are the safest source of blood as there are fewer bloodborne infections among these donors than among people who give blood in exchange for money or who donate for family members in emergencies.
World Health Organization (WHO) has appealed all the nations of the world to obtain hundred percent blood supplies by voluntary unpaid donors by 2020. At present there are 60 countries that collect 100 percent of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors (35 are high-income countries, 18 middle-income countries and 7 low-income countries).
Six of these countries have achieved this target from a percentage lower than 75 percent reported in 2004: Cook Islands (from 40 percent), Kenya (from 53 percent), Nicaragua (from 41percent), Turkey (from 40 percent), United Arab Emirates (from 59 percent) and Zambia (from 72 percent).
In 2011, nearly 83 million blood donations were collected worldwide from voluntary unpaid blood donors, an increase of close to 8 million donations from 2004. However, more progress is needed, with 73 countries still collecting more than 50 percent of their blood supply from replacement or paid donors.