Every year the World Health Organisation (WHO) celebrates World Blood Donor Day on June 14. This day is celebrated every year to spread awareness about the significance of blood donation and to recognise the contribution of voluntary unpaid blood donors in saving lives. Global health community comes together on this day to remind the general public about the critical contribution made by voluntary, unpaid blood donors to their respective health systems.
Aside from the impact on public health, social welfare, and the economy, the coronavirus pandemic has caused enormous collateral damage to the healthcare system around the world, with adverse health effects from blood shortages being a critical one. So the aim of this occasion in the present scenario is to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion. The day also provides an opportunity to call to action to governments and national health authorities to provide adequate resources and put into place systems and infrastructures to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors. A special focus of this year’s campaign will be the role of young people in ensuring a safe blood supply.
The first World Blood Donor Day was observed by WHO in 2004 and was declared as an annual global event in the 58th World Health Assembly in 2005. The day is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Austrian biologist and physician, Karl Landsteiner. He is considered to be the founder of modern blood transfusion. For 2021, the World Blood Donor Day slogan is ‘Give blood and keep the world beating’. The message highlights the essential contribution blood donors make to keeping the world pulsating by saving lives and improving others’ health. It reinforces the global call for more people all over the world to donate blood regularly and contribute to better health.