‘Give the gift of life: donate blood’ – World Blood Donor Day

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'Give the gift of life: donate blood' - World Blood Donor DayWorld Blood Donor Day, celebrated on the 14th of June every year, serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.

With the slogan ‘Give the gift of life: donate blood,’ this year’s campaign, the 10th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day, will focus on the value of donated blood to the patient, not only in saving life, but also in helping people live longer and more productive lives.

A single unit of donated blood can save up to three lives.

Every year 92 million blood donations are collected worldwide. Approximately half of these are collected in high-income countries, home to only 15% of the world’s population.

Many patients requiring transfusion, particularly in developing countries, do not have timely access to safe blood.

Blood collection from voluntary non-remunerated blood donors is the cornerstone of a safe and sufficient blood supply. Regular voluntary blood donors are the safest source of blood, as there are fewer bloodborne infections among these donors than among people who donate for family members in emergencies or who give blood for payment.

In low- and middle-income countries, the greatest use of donated blood is for pregnancy-related complications and severe childhood anaemia.

In high-income countries, transfusion is most commonly used for supportive care in heart surgery, transplant surgery, massive trauma and cancer therapy.

Providing safe and adequate blood through well-organized, national blood systems should be an integral part of every country’s national health-care policy.

WHO’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from 100% voluntary unpaid donors by 2020.

WHO provides policy guidance and technical assistance to support countries to ensure that safe blood and blood products are available and used appropriately for all people who need them.

Blood ca be dontated at the Gozo General Hospita Centre which is open Monday to Saturday from 8.30am to 11.30am. In Malta dontations can be made at the Guardamangia Centre which is open Monday to Sunday, from 8am until 6pm.

It is important for donors to present their Maltese ID card, Maltese Driving License or Maltese Passport.

Donors should be between 18 years and 63 years; 17 year olds must have a parent/guardian consent. Regular donors above 63 years and under 68 years may donate, but the intervals between donations should not exceed 6 months. New donors above 63 years are not accepted.

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