The Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity organized an event to take place in Athens for World Blood Donor Day. In partnership with the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Associations of Voluntary Blood Donors (POSEA), the event was located in the centre of Athens at the Zappeion Megaron.

A new blood donation logo was designed – in the shape of a jigsaw piece – and television and radio spots were prepared, as well as other publicity material and pop-up banners for internet sites.

On the morning of 14 June, speeches were heard from the Minister of Health and Social Solidarity, the President of POSEA, and the Director of the Hellenic Centre for Preparation of Blood Derivatives. Following the speeches the Minister then opened the event by donating blood himself, followed by other political personalities.

A marquee, equipped with eight beds and staffed by doctors and nurses, enabled the general public to come and give blood. Donors received small commemorative gifts of T-shirts and pins on the day. At the same site, stands from the various stakeholders gave out information, including from the National Blood Donation Centre.

The entertainment included blood donation mascots who attracted passers-by, and there was music, prepared by a young disk-jockey specially for the event, played all day. A “Wall of Humanity” showed photographs of blood donors on the day, displayed at the entrance of the tent. A “Table of Equivalence” was also displayed which showed in simple phrases the kind of superficial things it would be possible to do in the 10 minutes it takes to give blood. Finally, there was a collage of blood donation posters.

The event attracted wide media coverage, and great interest from the general public.
Artemis Vacalopoulos