Every year on 14th June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. Africa Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT) joins the world in celebrating World Blood Donors Day. While the global event will be hosted in Hanoi, Viet Nam on 14 June 2017 it is incumbent upon everyone else to play their part and promote voluntary blood donation on a regular basis. The day is commemorated with one unifying theme to sensitize citizens on the importance of blood donation and the need to have safe blood for transfusion. Most importantly the day serves to recognize and appreciate blood donors for their selfless service in saving lives.
This year’s slogan is What can you do? Give Blood. Give Now. Give often with a focus on blood donation in emergencies or crisis situations. This is a call to action for all healthy adults to play a role in saving the lives of others in emergency situations by donating blood. It also calls out to Africa’s citizenry to become regular blood donors to increase the blood stocks in the blood banks which then mitigates crisis in times of emergencies.
With the ever growing population in Africa, increased access to health care, awareness of maternal health, road traffic accidents, diseases, armed conflicts and other emergency situations, the need to have adequate supplies of blood and blood products has become imperative.
As the need for blood transfusion increases, this has not translated to an increase in the number of donations realized. For each country to achieve its goal of having an adequate supply of safe blood and blood products there needs to be more campaigns to sensitize the general population on the need to donate blood on a regular basis.
In keeping with that, we join the rest of the world in celebrating the donors who continue to give this precious gift as we work to achieve this year’s campaign objectives which are:
1. to encourage all people to strengthen the emergency preparedness of health services in their community by donating blood;
2. to engage authorities in the establishment of effective national blood donor programmes with the capacity to respond promptly to the increase in blood demand during emergencies;
3. to promote the inclusion of blood transfusion services in national emergency preparedness and response activities;
4. to build wider public awareness of the need for committed, year-round blood donation, in order to maintain adequate supplies and achieve a national self-sufficiency of blood;
5. to celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood regularly and to encourage young people to become new donors as well;
6. to promote international collaboration and to ensure worldwide dissemination of and consensus on the principles of voluntary non-remunerated donation, while increasing blood safety and availability.