Home » Health » Celebrating World Blood Donor Day 2015

Every year, on June 14, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day.

The event serves to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.

Zimbabwe will join the rest of the world to mark this important day at a national commemoration in Bulawayo on June 13, 2015. At the same event, National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) will unveil its new brand. The theme of this year’s commemorations is “Thank you for saving my life”.

The theme focuses on thanking blood donors who save lives every day through their blood donations and gly encourages more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly with the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters”.

During this time the campaign will highlight stories from people whose lives have been saved through blood donation, as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood. It will also motivate people in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, to begin doing so.

The commemorations were officially launched on May 15 through a Press conference held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, which also coincided with the pre-announcement of the unveiling of the New NBSZ Brand on June 13. At the launch, NBSZ chief executive officer Ms Lucy Marowa made special mention of the voluntary non-remunerated blood donors who are the backborne of the NBSZ blood donation programme.

They give their blood in order to save a life, and not for material gain. “It is this altruism of the men and women who donate blood that we celebrate this year by saying to them: ‘Thank you for saving my life’ especially now when the economic challenges in the country have made blood transfusion quite expensive for a significant portion of our society,” she said.

For any successful blood donation programme in any country, the government plays an important role in creating a conducive environment through effective polices that support the World Health Assembly resolution WHA 28:72, which urges all WHO Member States to promote and support the establishment of sustainable blood transfusion services based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donation. The World Health Organisation Country Representative Dr David Okello in his address pointed out that WHO encourages ministries of health to support the development and implementation of policies for the achievement of self-sufficiency in safe blood and blood products through the setting-up of well-organised, co-ordinated and sustainable national blood transfusion services.

This subject matter was also accented by Dr Maxwell Hove, director Pathology Services in the Ministry of Health and Child Care. He said the Zimbabwean Government recognises its obligation to promote the adoption of policies in line with ethical principles of voluntary non-remunerated blood donation. Voluntary unpaid blood donors can only assure an adequate supply through regular donations. 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.

The objectives of this year’s World Blood Donor Day campaign are to:

Thank blood donors for their life-saving donations

Promote regular voluntary unpaid blood donation

Create wider public awareness of the need for regular donation because of the short shelf-life of blood components and to encourage existing and potential donors to donate blood at regular intervals

Focus attention on donor health and the quality of donor care as critical factors in building donor commitment and a willingness to donate regularly and

Persuade ministries of health to show their appreciation of regular voluntary unpaid donors and provide adequate resources to provide quality donor care.

Source : The Herald

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