Transfusion of blood and blood products helps and save millions of lives. This statement is even more true for individuals whose day to day survival depends on regular blood transfusions.
Voluntary, regular, non-remunerated blood donation practices have been gradually replacing, across the world, family and paid donation practices which have supported the blood supply at national level for many decades.
This change alone, wherever it occurred, contributed significantly to the safety of blood and the role, importance and value of voluntary, regular, non-remunerated blood donors have been unequivocally demonstrated.
Almost half of the global blood donations are collected in high-income countries, home to only about 19% of the world’s population. As such, equitable access to adequate and safe blood transfusion services still does not exist and moreover in many of these, costs are additionally involved.
The shortages in blood have been magnified across the world during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic with moderate to severe interruption of the cornerstone of management of these patients which is blood transfusion therapy.
It is hoped that one huge relevant lesson learned from the pandemic for all nations across the world, is the need to invest in preparedness programs in case of infectious disease outbreaks and more generally in public health including very importantly blood transfusion services.
To this new global fight, the blood donor continues to have a very substantial and irreplaceable role to perform and the Governments need to continue to empower and safeguard their safety and appropriate management.
Signed by: Thalassaemia International Federation (https://thalassaemia.org.cy/) Co-signed by: European Blood Alliance (https://europeanbloodalliance.eu/)