World Blood Donor Day: “Be There for Someone Else. Give Blood. Share life”

Dr Rui Paulo de Jesus, WHO Representative a.i. delivering the message from Regional Director on the occassion.

June 14 is observed as the World Blood Donor Day globally. Bhutan joins the global community on this special day together with the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Bank of Bhutan and World Health Organization, to spearhead advocacy and awareness activities throughout Bhutan with special activities being organized in Thimphu, Zhemgang, Trongsa and Phuentsholing.

“Be There for Someone Else. Give Blood. Share life” is the theme of this year’s campaign. The theme emphasizes, giving blood as a simple way to save a life, at the same time as demonstrating the solidarity, altruism, empathy and kindness that most of us strive to practice each and every day. The objective of the campaign of this year is to draw attention to the roles that voluntary donation systems play in encouraging people to care for one another and generate social ties and a united community. It highlights the stories of people whose lives have been saved through blood donation, as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood and to encourage people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so, particularly young people.

In Bhutan, currently voluntary blood donation has reached 77%. There is a need for developmental partners and other stakeholders to support further strengthening this drive. We need the communities, especially young people to be socially responsible and help increase voluntary blood donation. Young donors can not only help to secure a safe and adequate blood supply of our country but also create a culture of healthy lifestyles and behavior among their peers, family and society. With this we can commit to reach 100% VNRBD in next few years.

Bhutan has been experiencing substantial impact of road traffic accidents (384 in 2016 and 15.1 per 100,000 based on World Health Statistics 2017) and substantial burden of chronic non-communicable diseases that are well-recognized emerging public health problems. These patients expect that blood and blood products supplied to them are collected and provided in a safe, timely and sustainable manner.