Today is World Blood Donor Day

14 June, 2024

20 years of celebrating giving: thank you blood donors!

On World Blood Donor Day, celebrated on 14 June 2024, WHO, its partners and communities across the world will unite behind the theme: 20 years of celebrating giving: thank you blood donors!

The 20th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day is an excellent and timely opportunity to thank blood donors across the world for their life-saving donations over the years and honour the profound impact on both patients and donors. It is also a timely moment to address continued challenges, and accelerate progress towards a future where safe blood transfusion is universally accessible.

The objectives of the campaign:

  • thank and recognise the millions of voluntary blood donors who have contributed to the health and well-being of millions of people around the world.
  • showcase the achievements and challenges of national blood programmes and share best practices and lessons learned.
  • highlight the continuous need for regular, unpaid blood donation to achieve universal access to safe blood transfusion.
  • promote a culture of regular blood donation among young people and the general public and increase the diversity and sustainability of the blood donor pool.

Today also marks the birth date of the Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner, who discovered blood groups and rhesus and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1930 for these important discoveries.

This day honours the anonymous volunteer blood donor and the altruism he demonstrates towards his suffering fellow human being by offering two of his precious goods without reward: 10 minutes of his life and 400cc of blood from his 6 litres.

Every country, in order to meet its blood needs,requires 60,000 vials of blood per 1,000,000 inhabitants. Australia, with a population of 26 Million needs 1,560,000 vials and Greece, with an approximate 10 million people, at least 600,000 units, of which only 40% are covered by voluntary blood donors.

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