World Blood Donor Day 2008
"Giving blood regularly"
Global celebration of the World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) will take place on 14 June 2008. This annual event highlights the role blood donors play in saving the lives and improving the health of millions and creates awareness about the availability, safety and appropriate use of blood and blood products. The resolution passed by the World Health Assembly in 2005 recognised that voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors who donate blood regularly are integral to safe, adequate and sustainable blood supply.
The clinical demand for blood is rising throughout the world to support advancements in medical and surgical procedures. Though the pattern of blood usage varies in different countries, there is still a great need for it in the treatment of complications during pregnancy and childbirth and severe childhood anaemia.
Voluntary blood donors donate blood of their own free will for altruistic reasons and get no reward except personal satisfaction. Patients who receive this blood feel a sense of being cared for by others whom they will never meet. As national blood programmes move towards the goal of total voluntary donation, there is an increasing appreciation of these donors and their pivotal role in ensuring adequacy of safe blood. It is important that their contribution be recognized and valued by the community.
This year's theme is "Giving Blood Regularly" - an effort to commit volunteer blood donors to donate regularly and over long-term. This sense of social engagement and belonging displayed can be the foundation of a stable voluntary donor pool. It is an opportunity for every country to felicitate these givers of 'life' and for national transfusion services to reaffirm their efforts in providing them quality care.
In 2008, the theme of World Blood Donor Day will be “Giving Blood Regularly” to support national blood donor programmes in building a stable base of voluntary unpaid donors who make a longterm commitment to blood donation. Slogans such as “Many Happy Returns” and “Once Is Not Enough” can be used to highlight the theme and emphasize the importance of regular donation by eligible donors in enabling blood collection to be planned to meet national requirements for specific blood groups and blood components and thus ensure access to safe blood transfusion when needed.