World Blood Donors Day
It is celebrated on June 14th every year. It is a day set aside to celebrate voluntary non-remunerated blood donors and also create awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products.
Furthermore, it is aimed at calling the attention of government at all levels to provide adequate resources to increase blood donors. The first celebration was in 2005 as a joint initiative of World Health Organization (WHO) and International Federation of Red Cross. Each year, a theme is chosen to reflect the goals of the celebration. The theme for this year (2022) World Blood Donors Day is ‘’DONATING BLOOD IS AN ACT OF SOLIDARITY JOIN THE EFFORT AND SAVE LIVES’’.
BLOOD DONATION: It is the act/process of withdrawing blood from an individual who willingly allow his blood to be taken for the purpose of blood transfusion to save lives. Blood donation is an act of love. It is a gift to humanity. There are different categories of blood donors;
A. Commercial Donors (Paid): These are individuals who donate blood and collect money/incentive in return for the act.
B. Family Replacement Donors: These are individuals who donate blood to be used for their relatives/friends who need blood/blood product transfusion.
C. Autologous Donors: This refer to situation where an individual donates his blood prior to be surgery, that requires transfusion and uses the blood during such procedures.
D. Voluntary Non-Remunerated Donors: These refers to individuals who donate blood willingly for transfusion to save lives without collecting any payment/incentive. Most often the recipients are not known to them.
SAFE BLOOD is defined according to WHO as blood obtained from the voluntary non-remunerated donors. It is these category of donors that is celebrated in World Donors Day. They are the heroes of the day.
Blood donation is a solidarity. Solidarity is an act of mutual support within a group of people. Donating blood is an act of solidarity because;
i. Blood is life and there is no known substitute for blood, therefore when an individual needs blood the best support we as a group of people around him/her can give is to donate blood to make safe blood and blood products are available on time to save lives.
ii. Globally and especially in developing nations like Nigeria the need for blood outweighs the supply (available pool). Therefore, the best solidarity we can give is to donate blood regularly.
iii. The availability of safe blood is key in the management of many health challenges such as anaemia in children, women during pregnancy and delivery, cancers and other malignant challenges, organ malfunction and damage e.g renal failure, victims of trauma, emergency disasters, accident victims etc
Who can donate blood
• Any apparently healthy male or female from age 18 – 60 years
The process of donation:
1. Donor clerking/ counselling to obtain relevant information from the donor. Weight is taken, blood pressure is measured and temperature taken.
2. An aliquot specimen of blood is collected to test suitability of the donor. Tests done include PCV and Blood group.
3. If suitable, the donor is bled into blood bag
4. The donor is advised to rest for a few minutes before leaving.
What to do before and after donating blood
i. BEFORE BLOOD DONATION
a. Rest well
b. Take a lot of fluids
c. Eat balanced diet but avoid fatty foods prior to donation
ii. AFTER DONATION
a. Rest well and avoid heavy walks within a few hours of donation
b. Take a lot of fluid
c. Eat balanced diet
BENEFIT OF BLOOD DONATION
• There is physical and emotional benefit in donating blood as it has been found to improve emotional well-being and gets rid of negative emotional feelings. It can help relieve potential health problems and reduce risk of certain diseases.
• I t reduces the risk of heart attack
• It helps to reduce cholesterol
• It improves the functionality of haemopoiesis and regulates the bone marrow activities
• Free medical screening
Donating blood is good for you and helps save life. JOIN THE SOLIDARITY TODAY.