Countries across the world are today celebrating World Blood Donor Day (WBDD).
This year’s event is focusing on the importance of donated blood to emergency health care. adequate supply of blood during emergencies requires a well-organised blood service, but in many countries, blood services face a number of challenges making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.
Latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that of the 112.5 million blood donations collected globally, approximately half of these are collected in high-income countries, with a marked difference in the level of access to blood between low- and high-income countries. While the WHO recommends that all blood donations should be screened for infections prior to use, and in particular that screening for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis should be mandatory, of reporting countries, 13 are not able to screen all donated blood for one or more of these infections.
Among the main objectives of this year’s campaign are engaging with authorities in the establishment of effective national blood donor programmes with the capacity to respond promptly to the increase in blood demand during emergencies, and ensuring worldwide dissemination of and consensus on the principles of voluntary non-remunerated donation.