Every year, on June 14, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. Promoted by the World Health Organization, the event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It can help patients 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.
However, 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. WHO’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020. Today, in just 62 countries, national blood supplies are based on close to 100 percent voluntary unpaid blood donations, with 40 countries still dependent on family donors and even paid donors.
To learn about the blood donation process or to find a blood donation center in your community, visit the American Red Cross website.