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World Blood Donor Day

'How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a weary world'

~William Shakespeare

14th of June is celebrated universally as the 'World Blood Donor Day'. It falls on the birthday of Karl LandSteiner, the Nobel Prize winner, who discovered the ABO blood group system.

World Blood Donor Day was initiated, prompted by the success of World Health Day, 2000, which was devoted to the theme 'Blood Saves Lives. Safe Blood Starts With Me'. It also draws inspiration from the International Blood Donor Day, organized annually, since 1995, by the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations.

14th June has been selected as World Blood Donor Day by three major organizations working for voluntary non-remunerated blood donation -

1. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,

2. The International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations and

3. The International Society of Blood Transfusion.

The Day has been endorsed by the World Health Organization, which co-sponsors the event. Together these organizations represent 192 Member States, 181 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 50 national voluntary blood donor organizations and blood transfusion specialists throughout the world.

World Blood Donor Day provides a special opportunity to thank all the voluntary (non-remunerated) blood donors. Several millions owe their existence to people they may never meet - people who donate their blood without any reward or remuneration. Despite these noble acts by many, 'safe' blood is denied to the overwhelming majority of the world's population.

Of the 80 million units of blood that are donated each year, only 38% is harvested from developing countries, where a staggering 82% of the world's population live. Several third world countries are
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