Blood Donor Day: heroes in Kazakhstan
On 14 June 2012, World Blood Donor Day, organizations in Kazakhstan joined to promote voluntary blood donation. The country aims to achieve 100% voluntary blood donation before 2020 (the WHO goal set for reaching this target). A blood supply comprising 100% voluntary, unpaid donations is far safer than reliance on paid donations, because donors are selected, disclose details of their lifestyles and have regular health checks and testing.
The WHO Country Office, Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Health, the national scientific production centre for blood in Astana, and the nongovernmental organization (NGO) A Drop of Life jointly organized the event. WHO also invited members of the diplomatic corps to attend.
The theme of the global 2012 campaign, “Every blood donor is a hero”, recognized the unsung heroes whose donations save lives every day.
Joining Kazakhs to give blood in Astana were diplomats from France, Serbia, South Africa and Sweden, and staff from the Country Office. Several journalists reporting on the event decided on the spot to donate, and joined the campaign.
In 2012 WHO will survey knowledge, attitudes and practices related to voluntary blood donation in Kazakhstan. The results will inform a national strategy to be developed and adopted by the end of 2012. The study is supported by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and will be implemented by WHO’s partner, A Drop of Life.