June 14 was chosen for the date of this World Blood Donor Day; the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, Nobel prize winner and inventor of the AB0 blood group system.
Currently, 62 countries have based their blood supply on entirely voluntary and unpaid donations. In 2002 this number was 39.
In line with the 2009 Melbourne Declaration, which appeals to countries to achieve 100% voluntary and unpaid donations before 2020, WBDD has set itself the following goals:
- Increase awareness of the vital role blood transfusions play in saving lives and improving the health of millions of people every year.
- Motivate more people to become repeat donors, in order to guarantee blood supply.
- Recognise donors as public role models in health care; they are able to give blood regularly thanks to their healthy lifestyle and the screening they undergo.
Above all, June 14 is the day on which we want to thank all blood and plasma donors worldwide for their selfless and life-saving gift. World Blood Donor Day is celebrated in many countries across the world. Celebration of WBDD happens at the national and regional levels at the donor centres that are open on 14 June. For more information, check out the website of the World Health Organization (WHO) and search for 'World Blood Donor Day'.