“I donate blood and I save Life. Are you doing the same?”. This was the slogan used in Albania during the World Blood Donor Day campaign, and partners, including the Albanian Red Cross, Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, National Blood Transfusion Centre and the Blood Donor Association, all transmitted this message widely. Albanian Red Cross is responsible for donor recruitment, working in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

Between 1 and 14 June, publicity materials using the slogan were prepared. An education campaign on blood donation was launched with the cooperation of the Health Education Department of the Ministry of Health. The media were contacted and agreed to support the day, putting out news about blood donation and World Blood Donor Day. A special broadcast saw a representative from the Ministry of Health and the President of Albania Red Cross publicizing the agreement between the two organizations and promoting the day. In other parts of the country, local mayors were requested to support voluntary donation, making it part of their campaign for the year. The National Football Association was contacted to give support for World Blood Donor Day and future campaigns.

On 14 June itself, a marquee was located in a crowded area in the main square in Tirana, the capital city. A mobile blood donation vehicle was there, decorated with posters, balloons and other materials publicizing World Blood Donor Day. Volunteers distributed education materials about blood donation, as well as posters, pins, stickers and T-shirts. In the morning, a press conference took place attended by representatives from all the major partners.

A concert took place where popular celebrities informed the audience about the importance of blood donation and thanked all blood donors. An award was presented to the Donor of the Year, and the ceremony was attended by many prominent politicians and other dignitaries. Certificates of Honour, signed by the Minister of Health and the President of Albania Red Cross were also presented. The event was broadcast the following day on television.

Meantime, blood donation sessions took place in 10 Red Cross branches, and donors received a different snack after donation. In total, over 450 people were recruited. On the day 392 donors gave blood, among them the Mayor of the Municipality, journalists and Red Cross staff. The success of the day succeeded in strengthening the partnership between the different stakeholders.

Ariana Deliana
Blood Coordinator, Health Programme
Albanian Red Cross