An opportunity to celebrate and thank those who give

At the Fifty-Eighth World Health Assembly, WHO Member States declared unanimously their commitment and support for voluntary blood donation, and Resolution WHA58.13 designated World Blood Donor Day as an annual event to be held each year on 14 June. The launch of World Blood Donor Day took place on 14 June 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

World Blood Donor Day builds on the success of World Health Day 2000, which was devoted to the theme ‘Blood Saves Lives. Safe Blood Starts With Me’. The enthusiasm and energy with which this day was celebrated was a powerful and positive response to the opportunity to thank the millions of people who give the precious gift of life through their donation of blood every year. It also builds on International Blood Donor Day organized annually by the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations since 1995.

The aim of designating this annual day and linking it to a global celebration was to promote voluntary non-remunerated blood donation throughout the world. By designating one special day to celebrate the role of voluntary blood donors around the world, it is hoped that a new generation of blood donors will follow their example, providing sufficient supplies of the safest blood possible for use wherever and whenever it is needed to save lives.

Today, another important objective of World Blood Donor Day is to focus national efforts on improving the safety and adequacy of national blood supplies by promoting a substantial increase in the number of safe, voluntary non-remunerated blood donors who give blood regularly.