June 14, 2012 is a red letter day, when the world comes together to celebrate World Blood Donor Day
(WBDD) as an occasion to honor those who donate the life saving gift—blood and to raise awareness on the universal need for safest possible blood and blood products that best come from voluntary blood donors around the world. World Blood Donor Day also commemorates the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the ABO blood group system.
Theme for World Blood Donor Day 2012
This year's theme for World Blood Donor Day campaign 'Every blood donor is a hero' is a salute to everyone who donates blood thereby, saving lives and also serves to encourage more and more people from all parts of the world to make it a regular habit to donate blood voluntarily without seeking payment.
There is a dire need for safe blood supply globally in hospitals and clinics, especially in developing countries where the supply is very limited compared to the demand. Each year health systems and policy makers use the WBDD platform to step up efforts to motivate more people to make unpaid voluntary blood donation and to ensure safe blood transfusion accessible to people all over the world.
What Makes Donating Blood Heroic?
Blood is precious because it can be stored only for a very limited time before it is used. Hence there is a permanent requirement for regular blood donations from healthy donors to meet the demand for safe blood whenever, wherever needed. The blood that a person donates can save a life or even many lives, if the donated blood is split into components such as red cells, platelets and plasma to be used individually for patients with specific conditions.
Donated blood is used in safe blood transfusions for women with pregnancy complications, severely anemic children suffering from malaria or malnutrition, accident victims bleeding profusely and several other
surgical and cancer patients. People with blood disorders such as thalassemia, hemophilia and sickle cell disease need blood for regular transfusions and to make clotting factors.
Celebrating World Blood Donor Day
World Health Organization, International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations, International Society of Blood Transfusion and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are the four core agencies that come together to sponsor World Blood Donor Day every year. The global event hosted by a different country each year will be held in Seoul, Republic of Korea this year, hosted by the Korean Red Cross and the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare.
In order to improve and strengthen voluntary blood donor programs, blood banks, blood donor organizations and several other NGOs have been campaigning in the days leading to June 14. Around the world many events such as football matches, live concerts and mobile blood donation clinics are arranged this year also to mark World Blood Donor Day.
Regular, humble, unpaid, voluntary blood donors need to be celebrated as heroes and worldwide efforts are made to encourage and increase this number of generous donors because theirs is the safest blood for transfusion.
Step out today and save lives. Donate blood and be a hero.>