On the occasion of World Blood Donor Day 2018, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean called upon increasing the blood donations especially in countries of the Region in order to ensure a continuous supply of safe blood for patients whose lives depend on it.
In a speciall statement released in this occasion, the WHO office highlights that blood transfusion saves millions of lives every year. It has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and childcare and during the emergency response to man-made and natural disasters. Transfusion of blood and blood products also help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and support complex medical and surgical procedures.
This year, the theme of World Blood Donor Day is “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life.” The campaign focuses on blood donation as an act of community solidarity to care for one another in times of need and draws attention to the role that regular, voluntary donation systems play in encouraging people to care for one another and in promoting community cohesion.
“An adequate blood supply that meets the needs of patients can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors,” said Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. “However, in many countries in the Region, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.”
About seven million blood donations are collected in the Region every year, with wide variation in annual donation rates among countries. While the Region has 9% of the world’s population, the number of blood donations collected in the Region account for only 6% of the global supply. Blood donation rates in six countries of the Region are at levels less than recommended by WHO, and only half of the donations in the Region are from voluntary, unpaid blood donors.
WHO encourages all countries to establish nationally coordinated and appropriately regulated blood systems based on regular, voluntary non-remunerated blood donations as the foundation of a safe and sustainable blood supply.