World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) is held on June 14 each year. The event was organised for the first time in 2005, by a joint initiative of the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood. World Blood Donor Day is one of 11 official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World Chagas Disease Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World Immunization Week, World Patient Safety Day, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Hepatitis Day, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week and World AIDS Day.
Transfusion of blood and blood products helps and save millions of lives every year. It can help patients who suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care. Access to safe and sufficient blood and blood products can help reduce rates of death and disability due to severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth.
In many countries, there is not an adequate supply of safe blood, and blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.
An adequate supply can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary unpaid blood donors. The WHO’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020. In 2014, 60 countries have their national blood supplies based on 99-100% voluntary unpaid blood donations, with 73 countries still largely dependent on family and paid donors.
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year by people around the world on June 14. It is celebrated on the birthday anniversary of Karl Landsteiner on June 14, 1868. Landsteiner was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the ABO blood group system.