Belize celebrates World Blood Donor Day to raise awareness of the need for safe blood, blood products for transfusion and of the critical contribution blood donors make to Belize’s health system

15 Jun 2021
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Belize City, Belize, June 15, 2021 (PAHO) – Each year, on June 14, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) celebrates World Blood Donor Day to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion and the critical contribution voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to the health system. This year, the theme is “Give blood and keep the world beating” to highlight the need and essential contribution blood donors make to saving lives.

“Safe blood and blood products and their transfusion are a critical aspect of health,” said Dr. Noreen Jack, PAHO/WHO Representative in Belize. “Blood donors save millions of lives globally and the need for blood is a universal one. To ensure that everyone who needs safe blood has access to it, countries like Belize need voluntary, unpaid donors who give blood regularly.”

A special focus of this year’s campaign is on the role young people have in ensuring a safe blood supply. Young people form a large sector of the population in many societies, and it is important to engage them to become life-long voluntary blood donors, and to be committed to living a healthy life so they can continue to carry out the role of being a blood donor.

“Blood is needed on a daily basis and we need to express our thanks to all the volunteer donors who, out of pure altruism, make the time and effort to donate blood,” said Dra. Gerhaldine Morazán, Director of Medical Laboratory Service of the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW). “For every person who donates blood, three lives are touched and changed. They receive the gift of love by receiving the donated blood that can make the difference between life or death.”

World Blood Donor Day is also a day that provides an opportunity to call to action governments and national health authorities to provide adequate resources and put into place systems and infrastructures to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors.

“Every person has the right to life and safe blood is life,” said Lily Bowman, Director General of the Belize Red Cross Society. “Building awareness of the importance and safety of donating blood contributes to efforts being made to promote a culture of donating blood. The Belize Red Cross advocates for this and wholeheartedly supports and joins the MoHW, PAHO/WHO, and other partners in observing World Blood Donor Day!”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, despite limited mobility and other challenges, blood donors in many countries have continued to donate blood and plasma to patients who need a transfusion. This extraordinary effort during a time of unprecedented crisis highlights the crucial role of well-organized, committed voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors in ensuring a safe and sufficient blood supply during normal and emergency times. On World Blood Donor Day, we hail the heroism of these donors who generously give a part of themselves to save the lives of others.

From June 14 – June 18, there will be blood drives and other related activities in every public hospital, particularly in their blood collection centers, and in some private ones to promote voluntary blood donations. We honor and appreciate all voluntary blood donors not only today but each day. 

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