On June 14, countries worldwide celebrate World Blood Donor Day with events to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products — and to thank voluntary, unpaid donors for their lifesaving gifts of blood.
The 2012 World Blood Donor Day theme, “Every blood donor is a hero,” recognizes the unsung heroes whose blood donations save lives every day and encourages people all over the world to donate blood regularly. Seen here are blood donors in Memphis, Tennessee, who partnered with the American Red Cross during a recent blood drive.
World Blood Donor Day was launched on June 14, 2004, in Johannesburg, South Africa, by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Today, in 62 countries, national blood supplies are based on 100 percent (or more than 99.9 percent) voluntary, unpaid blood donation,” said a statement issued by WHO. “However, 40 countries still collect less than 25 percent of their blood supplies from voluntary, unpaid blood donors.”
WHO’s goal “is for all countries to obtain their blood supplies entirely from voluntary, unpaid donors by 2020.”