Message from Dr ALA ALWAN, Regional Director WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region on the occasion of WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY

14 June 2016: As in previous years we are celebrating the World Blood Donor Day on the 14th of June. The theme this year is “Blood connects us all”. For this campaign, WHO is calling on people to "Share life, give blood".

Blood donation saves the lives of millions of people around the world every year. It also supports complex medical and surgical procedures and is an essential component of health care during man-made and natural disasters.

However, in many countries, the demand for blood exceeds available supplies. As a result, blood services face challenges in making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.

In this context, it is important to reiterate that an adequate and safe supply of blood can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors. However, today, less than 60% of the blood supply in the Eastern Mediterranean Region is collected from such donors. Therefore, we urgently need to exert greater effort to fill this gap.

As we celebrate the world blood donor day around the world this event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gift of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.

World Blood Donor Day is also an opportunity to urge leaders in the health sector to commit to do their utmost to ensure sufficiency in safe blood and blood products based on 100% voluntary, unpaid donations.

WHO is also calling on all countries to achieve this goal by 2020.

We thank those donors who regularly give blood to save the lives of others and we encourage others to begin doing so.

Blood donation saves lives.

Thank you

Additional Info

  • Agency: WHO

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