The human blood, as we know it, is one of the most precious gifts that we could ever give to our fellow men— it does not cost a single dime, is almost painless, and can save thousands of lives. Come to think of it, even just one donated blood bag beats any material possession anytime.
This year, people from all parts of the globe have proven, once again, how much they value the importance of blood and its great effect to all patients worldwide.
WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY CELEBRATED
Yesterday, June 14, people of all races united and became one in celebrating this year’s World Blood Donor Day. With the theme “Thank You For Saving My Life” and slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters,” various blood donation centers geared up their equipment, and helpful donors— young and old, new and not-so-new— rolled up their sleeves to give the ultimate gift of life.
On the day itself, the World Health Organization (WHO) inspired and motivated potential donors to act and make a change. They also reached out to all member states and encouraged them to acquire blood supplies from voluntary, unpaid donors.
“The best way to guarantee a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products for transfusion is to have a good supply of regular donations by voluntarily unpaid blood donors,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO’s Director-General said on their press release.
“More voluntary blood donors are needed to meet the increasing needs and to improve access to this life-saving therapy,” added Dr. Herman Montenegro from WHO’s Department of Service Delivery and Safety.
ONE WORLD, ONE MISSION
June 14 became a momentous event for everyone across the globe, because not only did people celebrate World Blood Donor Day— they also gathered and participated in the process of gift-giving, which is donating blood.
The celebration of World Blood Donor Day for 2015 was hosted by China. Through the Shanghai Blood Center and the WHO Collaborating Center for Blood Transfusion Services, the country hosted some of the celebration’s main events in their native land, with millions of people in other parts of the globe celebrating, too.
The folks over South Africa also celebrated World Blood Donor Day with high hopes of more volunteer donors.
According to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS), they have collected more than one million units of blood in a year, but this does not decrease the demand for more healthy blood.
This is why on this year’s World Blood Donor Day, the SANBS greatly encouraged more people to give blood, even if it means they are going to be unpaid.
San Diego, California
The San Diego Blood Bank is one of the many participants of World Blood Donor Day in the United States.
Having been in service since 1950, the blood bank celebrated WBDD by hosting mobile blood drives and encouraging people to donate regularly, not just once.
Brian Yockey, a regular donor, shared his experiences and explained that more people should consider donating blood, because if they do not, big problems will arise.
“Well, we’ll run out of blood. If you went to the hospital and needed blood transfusion, there wouldn’t be any blood available to give to you,” said Yockey. “I think everybody in San Diego should donate blood on a regular basis, just like I do.”
In India, not only did people celebrate World Blood Donor Day, but they also honored some of the country’s greatest heroes— blood donors.
PAHAL, a youth organization in the country, gave praise and gratitude to 27 active blood donation institutions and 18 blood donors. This was in collaboration with the Punjab State AIDS Control Society and Medical Superintendent, Civil Hospital.
Another organization, the Bharat Vikas Parishad Chetna and Blood Association, also organized a blood donation camp at Shri mahavir Jalin Bhawan on World Blood Donor Day, where they gathered 147 volunteer donors.
In Manipur, several organizations (State Blood Transfusion Council, Manipur State AIDS Control Society, and Life Savers Manipur) joined forces to put up a function at Gandhi Memorial Hall to celebrate World Blood Donor Day, with a goal to address the need for more blood donors.
In the Philippines, people celebrated World Blood Donor Day by participating in the Department of Health’s (DOH) 6th National Blood Summit in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
The activities that were organized by the DOH were all aimed at one goal: to promote the World Blood Donor Day and the mission it stands for. Some of the events lined up to mark the day were scientific conferences, publication of relevant stories, commemorative events, and more.
In celebration of the World Blood Donor Day, Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng reached out to more people who can donate blood, since only 4 out of 1,000 people willingly give blood in their country.
“I’d like to appeal to youth, students, and all citizens to contribute further to increasing the number of blood donors in Cambodia,” he spoke while the celebration of WBDD was ongoing.
Even though their blood donation supply increased by 5% within the first five months of 2015, the need for more blood is still going strong. This is why the WBDD became a very useful tool for Cambodian officials to spread the word against blood supply shortage.
The people of Wainikoro, Labasa celebrated World Blood Donor Day in the simplest way possible— by joining the Nabala Secondary School marching band. The events of this year’s WBDD in Fiji was officiated by Dr. Mecuisela Tuicakau, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
TILL THE NEXT WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY
This year’s celebration was a mixture of different approaches by entirely different parts of the world— some hosted blood drives, while others talked about the importance of blood and donors.
Despite all these, their goal is only one and it remains the same: to fully educate more people about the extreme importance of ample blood supply and more volunteer blood donors.
With your help, we can end this scarcity in the world’s blood supply. The World Health Organization, together with all blood donation centers worldwide, hopes that in the next World Blood Donor Day, there would be more volunteer donors to fill the need of patients who depend on lifesaving blood.
Like their slogan goes, “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters.”