World Blood Donor Day, an initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO) is celebrated every year on 14 June. The day is celebrated to spread awareness about the importance of blood donation.
According to WHO, many developing countries face severe shortage of blood. Especially during COVID-19, plasma and blood donations have been the beacon of hope for those who were suffering from the novel coronavirus.
"The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all those who need it is not," says WHO.
The day highlights the contribution the blood donors have made in this regard. It emphasises on the importance of blood donation.
Moreover, it’s a global call for people to come forward and donate blood regularly.
As per WHO's website, this year's campaign will have special focus on young people, as they have been at the forefront of activities and initiatives. Voluntary and unpaid regular blood donation is an act of solidarity and is required all over the world.
This year, the theme, for the day is 'Give blood and keep the world beating’.
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on the birthday of an Austrian biologist and physician, Karl Landsteiner who is the founder of modern blood transfusion.
The first ‘World Blood Donor Day’ was observed by WHO in 2004.
In 2005, it was declared as an annual global event in the 58th World Health Assembly.
The day is hosted every year by different countries. This year, Italy will host the event, which will be held in Rome on 14 June (today).