I want to take this opportunity to give Cikgu Mansor a mention for highlighting (via various means of drilling) the importance of being socially responsible. In the Class of May 2009 the University of Life graduate reminded students about shortages of blood and how the needs of patients always exceed the supply of blood available. And that there are more ways than one when blood is needed by a patient such as blood loss during birth apart from the more obvious losses resulting from surgery and accidents. More specifically, the blood transfusion our mother or wife receives as a result of giving birth comes from kind hearted individuals. Coincidentally, two weeks after my exam, Dr Ammton Alias contacted me about the WBBD event the Ministry of Health is organizing this June 14 to celebrate this significant world event.
Voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors (hereafter referred to as voluntary blood donors, or simply vnrbd) are the lifeblood of a community and are considered to be the source of the safest blood and blood products for patients. Their donation is an altruistic gift and NOT a marketable commodity. This places them in a unique position, demanding special respect and care; it also places a responsibility on all involved in public health care to treat voluntary blood donors as VIPs. And hence World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) has been established to celebrate and thank voluntary blood donors for their gift of life.
A voluntary blood donation is thus a gift which cannot be valued in monetary terms, but the organizers of WBDD believe that such are the contributions of blood donors to patient care, day in, day out, a special day should be set aside once a year around the world (14 June), to remind everyone of the invaluable role of voluntary blood donors as co-partners with the medical profession in saving human life.
— from official World Blood Donor Day website.
Many people consider it a right to receive blood when needed, but don’t often consider the responsibility of giving blood to maintain the community supply for others. World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) is an international event where each year, a different country gets to host this very important day—WBDD 2009 is hosted by Australia.
The Ministry of Health is celebrating the gift of blood this June 14 (Sunday) at the new Health Promotion Centre building, Commonwealth Drive in Berakas from 10 am to 4 pm. There will be stalls, exhibition booths, live reptiles displays, games and lots more activities for the family.
According to a WBDD publication, the purpose of the celebration on 14 June each year is not to attract a big influx of new voluntary blood donors at that time. Rather, the occasion is seen much more in terms of paying tribute to all blood donors around the world and especially to those who give blood on a regular basis two, three or more times each year.
Dr. Neelam Dhingra from WHO’s Department of Essential Health Technologies explains:
“The June date was selected as it is the anniversary of the birth of Karl Landsteiner, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system. It is our hope that in designating one special day each year to celebrate the role of these blood donors in health care around the world, a new generation of blood donors will follow their example, thereby providing the safest blood possible for use wherever and whenever it is needed to save life.”