Virtual Forum: Promotion of Voluntary Blood Donation

Virtual Forum: Promotion of Voluntary Blood Donation
Give Blood

WHAT: Virtual Forum: Promotion of Voluntary Blood Donation

WHEN: June 16, 2021, 15:00 p.m. - 17:30 a.m. EDT - Washington, DC.

HOW. Join the event at Zoom.

LANGUAGES:  The forum will have translations in Spanish, English, and Portuguese.

Blood transfusions and blood components are the most widely used treatment to correct acute blood loss and chronic anemia. In all cases, it is the unit of blood donated by one person — the donor — that makes blood transfusion possible. The donor is the first link that determines the efficiency of this process, subject to controversy due to the adverse effects that may be associated with it, but vital, since it has not yet been replaced by any other type of therapy.

Donating blood relies on people who donate voluntarily, to ensure supply, and repeatedly to make blood a safer product. In the region of the 36 countries that sent information in 2017, 16 countries exceed the Regional average of 46.1% of voluntary donations, most Latin American countries report that the units of blood obtained come from replacement donors and very few countries report regular or repeating donor data.

During the COVID 19 pandemic, there was a decrease in blood donation due to measures such as confinement, social distancing, implementation of biosafety measures and fear of contagion, among others. However, it was observing a better responded, to guarantee the blood supply, in those countries with the highest rates of voluntary donation.

This context highlights that voluntary blood donation allows donors a greatly committed to blood services, and donation even during difficult times. Therefore, it is essential to identify and implement community strategies that allow developing and maintaining groups of voluntary and committed blood donors, and willing to donate their blood frequently.

The celebration of World Blood Donor Day 2021 focuses on the role of young people in ensuring a safe blood supply. In this sense and in view of the need to energize the strategies for reaching the community. The PAHO explored with the countries about high-impact strategies that are capable of sharing with the other countries of the Region.

• Present and reflect on initiatives implemented in the countries of the Region, oriented to the community, including the participation of young people, in voluntary and altruistic blood donation.
• Explore the perspectives of young people regarding their participation in voluntary blood donation.

• Participants will learn about the existence of successful strategies including participation of young people in voluntary blood donation and PAHO's orientation for their socialization in the Region.
• Participants will discuss and identify possible mechanisms to implement the strategies as mechanisms to improve the quality, safety, timeliness, and availability of blood for transfusion.