World Blood Donor Day

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Every year on June 14, World Blood Donor Day marks a date to highlight the ongoing need for global blood donations. Founded by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004, the day intends to raise awareness about the ongoing need for blood donations and extend gratitude to voluntary, unpaid donors all over the world. The day is on the same day that Karl Landsteiner, the discoverer of blood types and blood transfusions, was born.

Blood transfusions are necessary after major surgeries, injuries and illnesses such as leukemia. Access to verifiably safe blood is an essential aspect of any healthcare system, but not everyone has equal access to safe blood transfusions. In year’s past, World Blood Day has focused on the need for policy change to make it easier to donate blood and create broader global access to blood transfusions.

2024: Celebrating Giving

This year marks the twentieth year of celebrating blood donors and donations on June 14, with the theme, “Celebrating Giving.” Blood donations are entirely dependent upon unpaid, voluntary donors, and this year celebrates all of them who give back to their communities! Hopefully, through awareness of the need for ongoing blood, it will become more standard in youth communities to give blood and maintain the supply.

Anera’s work has long focused on providing the resources needed for blood transfusions to Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, recognizing the issue of inaccessibility. This work ranges from providing medication for blood treatments, donating testing kits and constructing energy sources for blood clinics. This year, amidst the war in Gaza, the need for materials and blood donations has grown even more. Between the systemic demolition of hospitals and the congestion of aid delivery, however, getting people the medical resources they need has become immensely difficult compared to years past.

For years, Anera has supported the Central Blood Bank Society (CBBS) in Gaza, including constructing solar panels for it to have a renewable energy source. Now, with the war in Gaza, the CBBS has been damaged and cannot continue operating. We are committed in our rehabilitation plans to prioritize the CBBS and make it possible for Gazans to have access to safe and reliable blood again.

Iman, clinic patient with high blood pressure
Iman, clinic patient with high blood pressure.

2021: Give Blood and Keep the World Beating

On this World Blood Donor Day, Anera is pleased to announce that we just delivered a six-month supply of urgently needed blood testing kits to the Central Blood Bank Society (CBBS), a local, non-profit organization located in Gaza.

Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, recently withstood 11 days of intense bombings, the fourth major bombardment in 12 years. The attacks caused extensive death, injury and destruction. Nine hospitals and 19 other health facilities suffered significant damage. During the attacks on Gaza, the blood bank sent an appeal to Anera, declaring that they were at zero stock of blood testing kits. Without the kits, they would not be able to ensure they were delivering blood free of HIV and hepatitis B and C.

“The blood bank is facing a financial crisis as well as a shortage of supplies,” says Mostafa Al-Ghosain, Anera’s medical donations program manager. “And things are much worse now because of the recent bombings. The kits are not readily available in Gaza and, if they are, the costs are quite high. That’s why we bought them in the West Bank and shipped them into Gaza.”

Anera transported 126 kits from the West Bank in cold-chain shipping containers. Funding for the purchase came from Americares, one of Anera’s long-time medical donations partners. The kits will allow the blood bank to conduct 12,600 tests (each kit has materials for 100 blood tests), covering their needs for six months.

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