WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY 2014
Since the declaration of World Blood Donor Day by WHO in 2004, National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) Sri Lanka has initiated the WBDD celebrations in mass scale. In its annual event calendar, NBTS assigns the highest priority to this celebration considering the immense contribution of this event with regard to education, motivation, recruitment and retention of volunteer blood donors. Being recognized as a National event under the patronage of Ministry of Health and with the generous contributions of leading private sector organizations it has become a major public attraction.
Since the year 2004, WHO selects a country to host the global event of World Blood Donor Day. Sri Lanka was privileged to be selected as the host country of this prestigious event for the year 2014, being the first South Asian country to host this event. This was officially announced at the global event of World Blood Donor Day-2013, held in France.
National Blood Transfusion Service, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and WHO successfully organized the celebrations featuring the theme “Safe Blood for Saving Mothers”.
The event line up ran around one week, commencing with a media conference held on 4th June, with the participation of representatives from Ministry of health, WHO, Family Health bureau, College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the College of Transfusion Physicians. On the same day four vehicle parades started their journey from four corners in the country, felicitating 10,000 blood donors. With this vehicle parade a massive public awareness was created on voluntary blood donation. This was further boosted by the collection of signatures of well-wishers on to a monumental flag which led to breaking the Guinness World Record of “Largest Number of Signatures on a Flag”. His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapakse was the very first well-wisher to sign on this massive flag.
Considering the importance of timely access to safe blood supply, scientific sessions were organized by the College of Transfusion physicians with the collaboration of College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Family Health bureau. This was held over two days addressing all categories of staff, highlighting the need of a team approach to reach the ultimate target of supplying safe blood.