World Blood Donor Day

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This is the day that the world celebrates and says thank you, both globally and nationally, to voluntary unpaid blood donors for giving the gift of life with their donations. Celebrated around the globe annually, on the 14th of June, World Blood Donor Day which is the birth anniversary of Karl Landsteiner, a Nobel prize winning scientist who discovered the ABO blood group system. This year the global event will be held in Athens, Greece through the Hellenic National Blood Centre, under the theme, “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life.”

The World Health Organization describes it as, “The event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.”

As with each year, this year too there are objectives that the campaign hopes to highlight and achieve which include,

  • To celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood
  • To encourage those who have not donated as yet to donate
  • To raise greater awareness regarding the benefits to society and the need for regular, voluntary, unpaid donations
  • The necessity of maintaining an adequate supply to create national self-sufficiency through commitment and year-round blood donations
  • To focus attention on the importance of community participation in maintaining sufficient, safe and sustainable blood supplies
  • To promote international collaboration and to ensure worldwide dissemination of voluntary non-remunerated donations

Blood transfusions help save millions of lives, annually by supporting complex medical and surgical procedures.  It also helps to improve the quality of life of those suffering with life threatening diseases, while being essential during emergency support situations. Plus, it plays an essential role in maternal and childcare support.

In Sri Lanka too, we take blood donation very seriously and considered it a great community service to donate blood. We can take pride in the fact that 100% of Sri Lankan blood donors are voluntary non-remunerated donors. It is not difficult to donate blood in Sri Lanka with some of the criteria you need to meet listed below:

  • Should be between the ages of 18 and 60 years
  • Free from serious disease conditions
  • Not pregnant
  • Haemoglobin levels should be more than 12g/dL. (this is tested prior to each blood donations)
  • Should possess valid identification
  • Should be free from ‘risk behaviours’
  • A minimum of 4 months must lapse between donations

As the world gets ready to celebrate World Blood Donor Day it is good to remember that your blood donation can save as many as 3 lives. Donate and make a difference.

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