The Blood Bank in Vanuatu is a hospital-based programme at Port Vila Central Hospital, which organized celebrations for World Blood Donor Day on 14 June. Before the day, primary schoolchildren took part in a poster competition, and wrote poems and songs about blood donation. Posters and a “Wall of Fame” with photos of blood donors were displayed at outer island hospitals. Notices were displayed in churches announcing World Blood Donor Day and inviting community members to come along to see the show on the day.

On 14 June itself, an award ceremony for blood donors, where major sponsoring organizations were also honoured, took place. The ceremony was broadcast live on radio. T-shirts and stickers were given to blood donors. Fire, police and ambulance staff talked about their experiences and the need for a regular supply of safe blood. Music was provided by string bands. At the event, the posters from the school competition were displayed.

During the day, there was an opportunity for people to donate blood, and also to check blood pressure, height and weight.

A major activity was the launching of a 30-minute blood bank video documentary, intended to show the importance of becoming a regular donor. In the week leading up to World Blood Donor Day, a workshop to bring blood centre staff from the islands up to date with the World Health Organization standards already practised at Port Vila took place.

George Pakoa
Head of Transfusion Unit
Blood Bank
Vila Central Hospital