World Blood Donor Day

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World Blood Donor Day, commemorated annually on June 14, serves to raise awareness of the need to make voluntary donations and to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving donations. This year, the Day is being celebrated around the theme “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives”. Blood donation is indeed an act of solidarity as it is needed to save the life of women with complications during pregnancy and childbirth, children with severe anaemia, often resulting from malaria or malnutrition, accident victims and surgical and cancer patients. On this day we celebrate the enormous contributions of blood donors around the world and appreciate those who have donated blood in the past and pledge to continue doing so in the future. Regular blood donation by a sufficient number of healthy people is needed to ensure that blood will always be available whenever and wherever it is needed. A healthy person may donate blood several times of year without any adverse effect on his health with a minimum interval of 12 weeks between 2 donations whereas the platelet donors may donate more frequently up to 24 times per year. According to the World Health Organization since 2016, over 2.5 billion people worldwide are in need of blood and blood products, therefore, we need to continue to find new blood donors and encourage those who are already giving blood to do so more frequently. In Pakistan, the awareness campaign is even more essential as the rate of blood donation in Pakistan is very low compared to the rest of the world. In Pakistan over 90 per cent of total blood transfused is donated by the friends and relatives of patients while the remaining 10% is donated by professional donors.

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