Blood: ‘give freely, give often’

| Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 12, 2015

Coast Guard staff at a blood donation camp in Puducherry

Blood transfusion saves lives, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood, says the World Health Organisation. And providing safe and adequate blood should be an integral part of every country’s national health care policy and infrastructure, it added.

This year’s campaign “Thank you for saving my life” focuses on thanking blood donors who save lives every day through their blood donations and encourages more people across the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly with the slogan “Give freely, give often. Blood donation matters.” About half of the 108 million blood donations collected globally are in the high-income countries, home to 18 per cent of the world’s population, the WHO said in its fact sheet. And only 43 of 156 reporting countries produce plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMP) through the fractionation of plasma collected in the country. The majority of 113 countries import PDMP from abroad, it added. In low-income countries, up to 65per cent of blood transfusions are given to children under 5 years of age; whereas in high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is over 65 years of age, accounting for up to 76 per cent of all transfusions.

An increase of 8.6 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors was reported from 2004 to 2012. About 73 countries collect over 90 per cent of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors. But, 72 nations collect more than 50 per cent of their blood supply from family/replacement or paid donors, WHO said. The WHO’s aim is for all nations to get 100 per cent of their blood supplies from voluntary, unpaid donors by 2020.

Source: WHO

Published on June 12, 2015
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