World Blood Donor Day was celebrated on June 14, 2020.
First of all, this was an opportunity to say a big thank you to all those people who, directly or indirectly, save lives by giving their blood; then to “raise awareness of the need for regular blood donation to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients who need it”; and finally to invite anyone to donate blood “voluntarily and regularly” to save lives, to have a good supply of blood available in an emergency, and to have safe and guaranteed quality blood products available.
WHO usually materializes this day through a campaign.
This year campaign’s theme is “Safe blood to save lives” and the slogan “Donate blood to improve health around the world”
The objectives of the campaign are:
– to celebrate and thank those who donate blood and encourage those who are not yet donors to become donors;
– to emphasize the need for commitment and blood donation all year round to maintain an adequate supply and achieve universal and rapid access to secure blood transfusions ;
– highlight the essential contribution of donors to improving public health for their entire community;
– demonstrate the need for universal access to secure blood and advocate for its role in providing effective care and achieving universal health coverage;
– mobilize support at the national, regional and global levels with governments and development partners to invest in, strengthen and sustain national transfusion programs.
Blood supply remains a priority public health problem in Cameroon. In fact, according to the National Blood Transfusion Program of Cameroon, it is estimated at 400,000 the number of blood bags required to treat patients annually in health facilities. “Blood and labile blood products represent for them the best therapeutic offer. However, less than 25% of blood needs are met each year, with almost 95% of replacement donations made by relatives or family members (donations prohibited by WHO) and less than 5% of voluntary donations and unpaid (donations recommended). The need is therefore enormous.
Nevertheless, this is an opportunity first, to salute the efforts of public authorities, in particular the establishment of the National Blood Transfusion Program of Cameroon (PNTS) and the National Center for Blood Transfusion (CNTS), and to encourage them consolidate measures for access to blood and measures for the safety and well-being of blood donors for an efficient national blood transfusion system.