Friday, June 14 marks World Blood Donor Day. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is calling for countries to strengthen their voluntary, unpaid blood donation systems, the best way to ensure universal access to an adequate supply of safe blood for transfusions.
The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, said on Thursday that the theme of this year’s World Blood Donor Day is “Safe blood for all.”
The PAHO’s theme draws attention to the importance of countries having timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood and blood components available in the event of a disaster where donor blood would be needed for those injured.
CPS in joining PAHO to shed some light on the topic, calls on members of the community to be aware of their blood type and have that information available should a call go out for blood donations.
World Blood Donor Day’s commemoration is promoted by PAHO to celebrate all over the world each year on 14 June, and the event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood components and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gift of blood.
PAHO said in a statement that: “A blood service that gives patients timely access to sufficient, safe blood and blood components is a key element of universal health. In order to achieve this, countries must ensure the implementation of a nationally coordinated blood transfusion service based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donations.
“Blood and blood components are vital for both planned treatments and urgent interventions and save millions of lives each year. They are particularly essential in the management of women suffering from bleeding associated with pregnancy and childbirth; children suffering from severe anemia due to malaria; patients with blood disorders; victims of trauma and emergencies; as well as patients undergoing medical and surgical procedures.
“In Latin America and the Caribbean, voluntary donation accounts for less than half of all blood supplies. For World Blood Donor Day, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is calling for countries to strengthen their voluntary, unpaid blood donation systems, the best way to ensure universal access to an adequate supply of safe blood for transfusions.
“While Latin America and the Caribbean has made significant advances to improve the safety and availability of blood for transfusions, with donations rising to 10.5 million units in 2017 – an increase of 13% since 2015, the percentage of voluntary donations remains largely unchanged.”