Blood connects us all. This is the motto marking this year World Blood Donor Day: an annual tribute for those who save people lives by donating their blood and an acknowledgement on the special binding relationship between blood donors and receivers.
This celebration takes place every year on June 14th , the birth anniversary of Karl Landsteinerm - the man who discovered the blood groups and co-discovered the Rhesus factor.
According to official data, the number of donors is on the rise. During the last 12 years, blood donors grew by 25%, going from 80 to 108 million. The biggest increase in blood supply was recorded especially in Southeast Asia and Africa. Half of the donations are concentrated in the more developed areas of the planet where 18% of the population lives. In these countries there are 36.8 donations per 1000 inhabitants, while in middle-income countries donations stood at 11.7, before falling to 3.9 in the poorest regions. 65% of blood transfusions in the world regard children under five - years old, while in high-income countries, which are those with the highest rate of population ageing, the main recipients of this care are elderly people above the age of 65.
«Donating blood is not just an act of giving. It is also a symbol of solidarity, an incentive to embrace a healthy life style. Donors are guided by values such as social inclusion and active citizenship» said Vincenzo Saturni, President of the Italian Volonteers' Blood Association Avis Nazionale, speaking at the workshop “Volountary Blood Donation and Transfusion Policies in Europe“ held at the European Parliament this morning in Brussels. «Our presence in the capital of Europe» explained Mr.Saturni to Vita International «is meant to safeguard the importance of blood donations and brand it as a volountary, periodical, anonymous, responsible and non-remunerated act».
Mr. Saturni urged politicians to adopt common policies on issues such as the protection of this free gift and the introduction of an ethical label for drugs and blood components donated without compensation.
Cover Photo: MARION BERARD/AFP/GettyImages)