World Blood Donor Day is observed on June 14 every year.
June 14 was chosen for the occasion in honor of Karl Landsteiner, the father of modern blood transfusion. During his lifetime, he was responsible for discovering and classifying blood groups, thus allowing physicians to transfuse blood without endangering a patient's life.
History shows that blood donation dates back a long way. With the very first transfusion performed with poorly understood science and pioneering research, it was not until Richard Lower examined the science of the donation of life.
The science around blood started developing from that point on, breaking taboos and moving away from animal experimentation after he successfully transfused blood between two dogs.
The ABO system of determining human blood type was discovered by Karl Landsteiner, which became a staple in the medical field and health topics.
The idea of having World Blood Donor Day as an annual event was driven by the success of World Health Day in 2000. This event covered topics such as blood donation and transfusion safety.
In May 2005, the 58th World Health Assembly designated June 14 as World Blood Donor Day to commemorate Landsteiner's birthday.
It is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of regular blood donations to maintain a stable blood supply in the healthcare service. This event also highlights the dedication of medical professionals to researching effective ways to use donated blood.
On this day, donors are recognized and thanked for saving lives and making the world a better place through their dedication and service.
On June 14, people around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day to raise awareness about the importance of safe blood and life-saving service. The day also provides an opportunity to thank unpaid, selfless blood donors for their life-giving gifts of blood for others.
This year, the World Blood Donor Day slogan is “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives”. It aims to draw attention to the roles that voluntary blood donors play in saving lives and enhancing solidarity within communities and peoples.
Patients suffering from hemorrhage related to pregnancy and childbirth; children suffering from severe anemia; patients with blood and bone marrow disorders; inherited disorders of hemoglobin and immune deficiency conditions; and those undergoing advanced medical and surgical procedures need blood and blood products for treatment.
Shortages of safe blood are particularly acute in many Western Pacific countries and developing nations. The need for blood is universal, but access to safe blood and safe blood products is not.
Reasons to celebrate this special day;
- Educate about the importance of safe blood and blood products for transfusions;
- Identify the significant role that unpaid voluntary blood donors play within national health systems;
- Expand international and local campaigns to strengthen and expand national blood transfusion services, blood donation organizations, and other nongovernmental organizations.
The specific objectives of this year’s campaign are to:
- The world needs regular, unpaid blood donations. Thank blood donors around the world and raise awareness about the need for regular, unpaid blood donations.
- Encourage year-round blood donation so that adequate supplies are maintained and universal access to safe blood transfusions is achieved. In encouraging community solidarity and social cohesion, recognize and promote the value of voluntary unpaid blood donation.
- Finally, it is an obligation for all to increase the number of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors and to increase government investment in a sustainable and resilient national blood system for the common good and welfare of all.
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