World Blood Donor day takes place annually on 14 June to celebrate the birth of Austrian Biologist, physician and Scientist Karl Landsteiner who was born on 14 June in 1868. Karl Landsteiner was the first person to distinguish the main blood groups in 1900, having developed the modern system of classification of blood groups from his identification of the presence of agglutinins in the blood, and identified the Rhesus factor with Alexander S. Wiener in 1937. These discoveries enabled physicians to safely transfuse blood without endangering the patient’s life. He also discovered the polio virus in 1909 With Constantin Levaditi and Erwin Popper. Following his revolutionary discoveries He received the Aronson Prize in 1926 and In 1930, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He was posthumously awarded the Lasker Award in 1946, and has been described as the father of transfusion medicine.
The aim of World Blood donor Day is to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood which helps save millions of lives every year. The transfusion of blood can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care. Access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products can help reduce rates of death and disability due to severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth. In many countries, there is not an adequate supply of safe blood, and blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety. An adequate supply can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary unpaid blood donors. The WHO’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020. It emphasizes thanking of blood donors who save lives every day through their blood donations and inspires more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly with the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters.” Many lives (including mine) have been saved thanks to blood transfusions.
Activities include special events, meetings, publication of relevant stories on media, scientific conferences, publication of articles on national, regional and international scientific journals, and other activities that would help in encouraging the title of this year’s World Blood Donor Day. The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2015 was China through its blood center in Shanghai, Shanghai Blood Centre, also the WHO Collaborating Center for Blood Transfusion Services. The focus of the WBDD 2014 campaign was “Safe blood for saving mothers”. The goal of the campaign was to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries, as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths. According to the World Health Organization, 800 women die every day from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. Severe bleeding is the cause of 34% of maternal deaths in Africa, 31% in Asia and 21% in Latin America and the Caribbean. The global host for the WBDD 2014 event was Sri Lanka. Through its national blood transfusion service, Sri Lanka promotes voluntary unpaid donation to increase access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products.
The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2013 was France. Through its national blood service, the Etablissement Français du Sang (EFS), France has been promoting voluntary non-remunerated blood donation since the 1950s. The focus for the WBDD 2013 campaign – which marked the 10th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day – was blood donation as a gift that saves lives. The WHO encouraged all countries to highlight stories from people whose lives have been saved through blood donation, as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood and people in good health who have never given blood, particularly young people, to begin doing so. The 2012 campaign focused on the idea that any person can become a hero by giving blood. Blood cannot yet be manufactured artificially, so voluntary blood donation remains vital for healthcare worldwide. Many anonymous blood donors save lives every day through their blood donations.
World Blood Donor Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Hepatitis Day, and World AIDS Day.