World Blood Donor Day - 14 June 2016

The theme of this year's World Blood Donor Day is "Blood connects us all". It focuses on thanking blood donors and highlights the dimension of "sharing" and "connection" between blood donors and patients. In addition, we have adopted the slogan "Share life, give blood", to draw attention to the roles that voluntary donation systems play in encouraging people to care for one another and promote community cohesion. 

The campaign aims to highlight the key role that voluntary blood donation play for strengthening social cohesion and to encourage community participation towards a healthier society. 

Background information

Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.

Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It can help patients suffering from lifethreatening conditions live longer and with higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during man-made and natural disasters. 

However, in many countries, demand exceeds supply, and blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety. An adequate supply can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors. WHO's goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary, unpaid donors by 2020. The goal for the Americas is that by 2019 the blood supply in the countries is obtained in 100% from voluntary unpaid donors.

Today, worldwide only 62 countries get close to 100% of their national blood supplies from voluntary unpaid blood donations, with 40 countries still dependent on family donors and even paid donors. In the Americas, only 11 countries and territories have achieved this particular goal. While another 6 countries have made significant progress towards it in recent years, the remaining countries are still far from reaching it.

2016 World Blood Donor Day objectives

  • Highlight the dimension of "sharing" and "connection" between blood donors and patients;
  • draw attention to the role that the voluntary blood donation system plays in encouraging people to care for one another and promote community cohesion and a healthier society; 
  • demonstrate the link between voluntary blood donations and the strengthening of communities and social participation;
  • focus attention on blood services as a community service, and the importance of community participation for a sufficient, safe and sustainable blood supply; 
  • persuade and encourage ministries of health to show their appreciation to regular voluntary unpaid donors and commit to self-sufficiency in safe blood and blood products based on 100% voluntary, unpaid donations; and 
  • promote and highlight the importance of sharing life by donating blood. 

Host for World Blood Donor Day events

The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2016 is the Netherlands. For the region of the Americas, the host country for this important campaign in 2016 will be Ecuador, as a country who has set an example for the Region in recent years towards the universal access to safe blood and Voluntary-unpaid blood donations.


  • Total availability of blood in Latin America and The Caribbean: 9,252,583 blood units, representing a rate of 14.84 blood donations / 1000 inhabitants, within the range of middle-income countries.
  • % of Voluntary blood donation in Latin America and The Caribbean: 45.39%
  • % of Replacement blood donation in Latin America and The Caribbean: 54.52%
  • % of Remunerated blood donation in Latin America and The Caribbean: 0.09%

PAHO´s goal

  • 2019 is the target year for all countries and territories in the Region of the Americas to obtain 100% of blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors. 
Bllod Donations Timeline Goals
Blood Supply progress in the Americas Region based on 100% voluntary unpaid donations


— Supply of blood for transfusion in Latin American and Caribbean countries 2012 and 2013. Washington, DC : PAHO, 2015. 

— World Health Organization

— Pan American Health Organization. Blood services webpage