The World Health Organisation (WHO) has charged youths to support the growth and development of the health system and save lives by donating blood regularly.
The organisation, in a statement on Wednesday to commemorate the 2018 “World Blood Donor Day”, said that donation of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year.
WHO said that this also helps patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer with a higher quality of life while also supporting complex medical and surgical procedures.
It said that individuals who voluntarily donate blood regularly play an essential life-saving role in maternal and child care, and during emergency response to man-made and natural disasters.
The organisation said that although voluntary blood donors were essential for all these to happen, their number remained low in many countries, leaving blood services with the challenge of making sufficient blood available.
“A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system.
“An adequate supply can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors; however, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available while also ensuring its quality and safety.
“This year our campaign aims to highlight stories of people whose lives have been saved through blood donation as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood.
“It also aims to motivate people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so particularly young people,” the statement read in part.
WHO said that the organisation adopted the slogan “Be there for someone else. Give Blood. Share Life”, to draw attention to the role voluntary donation systems play in encouraging people to care for one another.
It said that the 2018 theme highlights the fundamental human value of altruism, respect, empathy and kindness which underline and sustain voluntary unpaid blood donation systems.
The organisation appreciated individuals who donate blood and encouraged those who have not yet donated to start doing so.
It called for the need to ensure committed, year-round blood donation in order to maintain adequate supplies and achieve national self-sufficiency of blood.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the day is commemorated on June 14 yearly to thank voluntary, unpaid donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
It is also commemorated to raise awareness on the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.
The theme for the 2018 commemoration is “Blood Connects Us All”.