Every year, June 14th is celebrated as World Blood Donor Day. The event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
There are 3 types of blood donors:
- voluntary unpaid
An adequate and reliable supply of safe blood can be assured by a stable base of regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors. These donors are also the safest group of donors as the prevalence of blood-borne infections is lowest among this group.
WHO recommends that all blood donations should be screened for infections prior to use. Screening for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis should be mandatory.
Of reporting countries, 13 are not able to screen all donated blood for 1 or more of the above infections.
Blood collected in an anticoagulant can be stored and transfused to a patient in an unmodified state. This is known as ‘whole blood’ transfusion.
However, blood can be used more effectively if it is processed into components, such as
- red cell concentrates,
- platelet concentrates,
- plasma and
In this way, it can meet the needs of more than one patient.
This year’s campaign will focus on blood donation in emergencies.
In crisis or emergency situation, the natural human response is “What can I do? How can I help?”. Therefore, the slogan for the 2017 campaign is: What can you do?, with the secondary message: Give blood. Give now. Give often.
The campaign underlines the role every single person can play in helping others in emergency situations, by giving the valuable gift of blood. It also focuses on the fact that it is important to give blood regularly, so that the blood stock is sufficient before an emergency arises.
The objectives of this year’s campaign
- to encourage all people to strengthen the emergency preparedness of health services in their community by donating blood;
- to engage authorities in the establishment of effective national blood donor programmes with the capacity to respond promptly to the increase in blood demand during emergencies;
- to promote the inclusion of blood transfusion services in national emergency preparedness and response activities;
- to build wider public awareness of the need for committed, year-round blood donation, in order to maintain adequate supplies and achieve a national self-sufficiency of blood;
- to celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood regularly and to encourage young people to become new donors as well;
- to promote international collaboration and to ensure worldwide dissemination of and consensus on the principles of voluntary non-remunerated donation, while increasing blood safety and availability.
Link to World Blood Donor Day 2017 site:
Link to WHO fact sheet on blood safety and availability (updated June 2017):
Link to World Blood Donor Day 2017 event page:
Link to WHO question & answer page ‘Why should I donate blood?’:
Link to WHO’s 10 facts on blood transfusion:
Link to World Blood Donor Day 2017 posters (English):
Link to World Blood Donor Day campaign materials:
Link to WHO quiz on blood donation:
Link to World Blood Donor Day images for social media: