Give blood to save lives


EVERY day blood transfusions take place and save lives of many people all over the world.
Blood transfusion is the transfer of blood or blood products from one person (donor) into another person’s bloodstream (recipient).
It is important to know that human blood cannot be manufactured, people are the only source of it and that is why it is important to donate blood and help those who need it.
And what perfect timing, today is World Blood Donor Day, a chance to recognize the millions of donors who save lives every day.
More than 80 million units of blood are donated annually, according to the World Health Organisation, but more is needed.
Blood is an important resource, both for planned treatments and urgent interventions.
It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. Blood is also vital for treating the wounded during emergencies of all kinds (natural disasters, accidents, armed conflicts, etc.) and has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care.
Many countries including Papua New Guinea still have a shortage of donors, and thus days like today is vital to raise awareness of blood donation and thus increase supply in order to save as many lives as possible.
Giving blood always seems to be something that people talk about getting around to doing, but never quite get there.
Two decades ago, the excuse would have been concern about Aids-tainted blood, along with the usual reasons of not enough time, fear of needles and a host of other rationales.
Can anyone really claim that they are too busy to give up 45 minutes, one day, and once every three months to take part in a potentially life-saving exercise?
If you or a person you love needed blood, you would certainly want to know that the blood bank had an adequate supply.
So it should not matter if it is someone else’s mother or son or grandchild who needs help.
Blood transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood.
The need for blood transfusion may arise at any time in both urban and rural areas.
The unavailability of blood has led to deaths and many patients suffering from ill-health.
An adequate and reliable supply of safe blood can be assured by a stable base of regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors.
Regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors are also the safest group of donors as the prevalence of blood borne infections is lowest among them.
World Blood Donor day serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
The day is marked also to raise awareness to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.
Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year.
It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency response to man-made and natural disasters.
A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system.
An adequate supply can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors.
However, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.
Every country should put in place policies, systems and structures to ensure the safety, quality, accessibility and timely availability of blood and blood products to meet the needs of all patients.
To everyone in Papua New Guinea, let’s make a difference now and donate blood if you are eligible!