The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moet has called on African countries to strengthen national blood services to enhance universal access to safe blood. In her message to commemorate World Blood Donor Day which falls on 14 June 2018, under the theme: Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life, the Regional Director noted that although countries have made significant progress to improve the availability and safety of blood, the demand for blood transfusion is increasing.
“Adequate supplies of safe blood can only be assured through regular, voluntary, unpaid donations. I urge countries to support voluntary blood donations as a solidarity act for all, and to ensure that national blood services have sustainable funding for blood safety programmes,” she said.
Dr Moeti drew attention to the kind gestures of regular and voluntary blood donors for patients in need, and encouraged people to care for one another by donating blood. “The day is also an opportunity to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to motivate people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so, particularly young people,” she added.
Blood transfusion saves lives. It helps patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer, better quality lives, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency responses to disasters, as well as in road traffic accidents and injuries. Safe blood donations play a vital role in providing effective and prompt care for patients in need. This is how ordinary people can be there for someone else – by giving blood and sharing life.