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Press Release | Event Commemoration in the Americas | StoriesFactsheet | Communication Materials | Video |


"What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give often"

The lives and health of millions of people are affected by emergencies every year. In the last decade, disasters have caused more than 1 million deaths, with more than 250 million people being affected by emergencies every year.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and storms create considerable needs for emergency health care, while at the same time, often destroying vital health facilities as well. Man-made disasters such as road accidents also generate substantial health care demands and the need for front-line treatment. Blood transfusion is an essential component of emergency health care. Emergencies increase the demand for blood transfusion and make its delivery challenging and complex. Adequate supply of blood during emergencies requires a well-organized blood service, and this can only be ensured by engaging the entire community and a blood donor population committed to voluntary unpaid blood donation throughout the year.

This year's campaign will therefore focus on blood donation in emergencies. In any crisis or emergency situation, the natural human response is "What can I do? How can I help?" therefore, the slogan for the 2017 campaign is: "What can you do?", "Give blood. Give now. Give often".

The campaign underlines the role every single person can play in helping others in emergency situations, by giving the valuable gift of blood. It also focuses on the fact that it is important to give blood regularly, so that the blood stock is sufficient before an emergency arises.<

World Blood Donor Day 2017 objectives

  • to encourage all people to strengthen the emergency preparedness of health services in their community by donating blood;
  • to engage authorities in the establishment of effective national blood donor programmes with the capacity to respond promptly to the increase in blood demand during emergencies;
  • to promote the inclusion of blood transfusion services in national emergency preparedness and response activities;
  • to build wider public awareness of the need for committed, year-round blood donation, in order to maintain adequate supplies and achieve a national self-sufficiency of blood;
  • to celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood regularly and to encourage young people to become new donors as well;
  • to promote international collaboration and to ensure worldwide dissemination of and consensus on the principles of voluntary non-remunerated donation, while increasing blood safety and availability.

Background information

Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood components and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.

Blood is an important resource, both for planned treatments and urgent interventions. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. Blood is also vital for treating the wounded during emergencies of all kinds (natural disasters, accidents, etc.) and has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care. A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood components in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system. Ensuring safe and sufficient blood supplies requires the development of a nationally coordinated blood transfusion service based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donations. However, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety. 

Host for World Blood Donor Day 2017 events

The host country for the global event of World Blood Donor Day 2017 is Vietnam through its National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT). The Global event will be held in Hanoi on 14 June 2017.

For the region of the Americas, the host will be the Andean Health Organization-Hipólito Unanue Convention (in Spanish, Organismo Andino de Salud-Convenio Hipolito Unanue), in the city of Lima, Peru. For the first time, the celebration of this day is organized in conjunction with a Subregional Integration Mechanism. This gesture recognizes the efforts made in recent years by the countries that make up the Andean subregion that constituted and approved the creation of the Andean Subregional Safe Blood Commission and approved the Andean Subregional Plan for the Universal Access to Safe Blood 2016- 2020 approved by resolution in the XXIX REMSAA Extraordinary of December 2015.

On June 14 at 9 am (Peru time) the activity can be followed virtually through:

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. In 2015, only 12 countries or territories have 100% voluntary donations.



of Voluntary blood donation in Latin America and The Caribbean


of Replacement blood donation in Latin America and The Caribbean


of Remunerated blood donation in Latin America and The Caribbean

Activities in the field

La sécurité transfusionnelle en Haïti

Peru. Story in Spanish

Select this link to know more about blood donor stories

Activities in the field

Mexico. Story in Spanish

Julieta Rojo, Directora Centro Transfusión Sanguínea

Social Media


WHO World Blood Donor Day webpage

PAHO Blood services webpage

- Donation. PAHO/WHO Scientific and Technical Materials

- Supply of blood for transfusion in Latin American and Caribbean Countries, 2014 and 2015. [Washington, DC: PAHO,2017]