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WHO Recognizes World Blood Donor Day

The WHO recognizes June 14 as World Blood Donor Day, and the agency “is appealing for more voluntary blood donors to boost the supply of this life-saving product,” VOA News reports. The WHO “says the need for blood and blood products is increasing every year,” but “millions of patients requiring life-saving transfusions do not have timely access to safe blood,” the news service notes (Schlein, 6/12). According to a WHO press release, the agency “calls for all countries to obtain 100 percent of their supplies of blood and blood products from voluntary unpaid blood donors by 2020.” The press release notes, “Currently, 60 countries collect 100 percent of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors,” while “73 countries [are] still collecting more than 50 percent of their blood supply from replacement or paid donors” (6/12). “The WHO said a stable base of regular, voluntary, unpaid donors is ‘the cornerstone’ of a safe, adequate and reliable blood supply,” according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Tubeza, 6/13). WHO Director-General Margaret Chan released a video message in recognition of World Blood Donor Day (6/13).