Be a hero by giving your precious safe blood for free and help save lives.
June 14 marks World Blood Donor Day highlighted with events to raise awareness of the need for safe blood products and to honor voluntary donors for their life-saving gift of blood, notes the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The transfusion of blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It can help improve life expectancy and quality of life for patients suffering from life-threatening conditions and supports complex medical and surgical procedures,” WHO stressed.
In many countries, demand outstrips supply and blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available while also ensuring its quality and safety, it noted.
Thus, the goal for all countries to obtain their blood supplies entirely from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020.
The annual World Blood Donor Day recognizes selfless individuals who donate their blood for people unknown to them.
This year’s theme “Every blood donor is a hero” focuses on the idea that every one of us can become a hero by giving blood.
“While recognizing the silent and unsung heroes who save lives every day through their blood donations, the theme also strongly encourages more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly,” WHO said.
The 2012 theme also resonates widely in relation to other everyday heroes – to name a few are firefighters, police, rescue workers, civic leaders, and “champions” of social causes and community improvement. This may provide opportunities for powerful connections of people and stories around World Blood Donor Day, it added.
The campaign’s objectives are to thank and reinforce the self-esteem of those who give blood so they continue to do so regularly; inspire those who do not give blood but are in good health to start donating blood; encourage blood service staff to recognize blood donors for their heroic act each and every time they donate blood; and persuade ministries of health to show their appreciation of blood donors and provide adequate resources to move towards 100% voluntary blood donation.
Blood donors over the world are recognized and thanked with events and activities, from forming “human blood drops” in public places to coloring iconic monuments in red.
“These events and activities served as powerful symbols on the day, and rallied community involvement in promoting voluntary blood donation in all countries. Support from government leaders, royalty and celebrities, along with diverse community-based and youth-oriented activities, all contributed to the festivities,” WHO said.
Heroic bloody deed
Everyday heroes respond to an immediate need for blood for transfusion, whatever the conditions, even when it may be inconvenient, putting the needs of others above their own. Voluntary blood donors come from all walks of life, all regions, backgrounds, religions and ages, WHO said.
“By choosing to donate blood of their own free will, without any payment, these individuals perform a heroic act, a gesture of human solidarity with the power to save lives. Some of them do so many times over several decades,” it added.
“Your involvement and support helps ensure a wide impact for World Blood Donor Day 2012, increasing recognition internationally that giving blood is a heroic life-saving act of solidarity. The enthusiasm and participation of interested partners are welcomed to make this endeavor a success,” WHO affirmed.
“We also recommend that you join the WHO World Blood Donor Day Global Network, a virtual space for sharing materials and information related to voluntary blood donation. We look forward to expanding this network in 2012 and beyond,” it advised.
Long-time heroes had shed sweat, tears and blood. Today, it pays to stand a little pain to give out your blood – a feat that is more than just a lifestyle –but a gift that could last a lifetime.