World Blood Donor Day is day dedicated to thanking and celebrating voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.
Millions of people owe their lives to people they will never meet – people who donate their blood freely and without any reward. However, the overwhelming majority of the world’s population do not have access to safe blood. Over 80 million units of blood are donated every year, but only 38% are collected in developing countries where 82% of the global population live.
In addition, many countries remain dependent on donation by the families or friends of patients who require blood and, in some countries, blood donors still receive payment.Yet evidence from around the world demonstrates that voluntary unpaid donors are the foundation of a safe blood supply because they are least likely to transmit potentially life-threatening infections, such as HIV and hepatitis viruses, to the recipients of their blood. It is to these unsung heroes that World Blood Donor Day is dedicated.
World Blood Donor Day builds on the success of World Health Day 2000 which was devoted to the theme ‘Blood Saves Lives. Safe Blood Starts With Me. The enthusiasm and energy with which this day was celebrated indicated that there would be a positive response to an opportunity to give thanks to the millions of people who give the precious gift of life. It also builds on International Blood Donor Day organized annually by the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations since 1995.