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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 783-784
Aiming to achieve 100% voluntary blood donation in all nations: Global vision

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication5-Oct-2017

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Aiming to achieve 100% voluntary blood donation in all nations: Global vision. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:783-4

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Aiming to achieve 100% voluntary blood donation in all nations: Global vision. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Jan 19];10:783-4. Available from:
Owing to the fact that the blood and its products is a vital resource and can be obtained only from people who are willing, there is a great need to significantly enhance the number of persons who are willing and eligible to donate blood to meet the rising needs of the nation.[1],[2]

The global estimates suggest that a gradual rise in blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors has been observed over the last 5 years.[1]

Nevertheless, in excess of 70 nations are still dependent on family/replacement or paid donors for more than half of their annual requirements.[1]

As more than 50% of the total annual blood donations are done in high-income nations, which are populated by only one-fifth of the world's population, definitive evidence is available to suggest that low-income and middle-income nations are struggling a lot to meet their demands for blood.[1],[3] The international welfare agencies have time and again advocated for 100% voluntary and unpaid blood donation in every nation and that no compulsion or force should be imposed on the donor to donate blood.[1],[4] In fact, these donors are individuals from different walks of life, who donate willingly will and put others interest before themselves and in exchange receive no remuneration in cash or kind, but only personal satisfaction and pride.[1],[3] Voluntary blood donors, especially the regular donors, have a minimal prevalence of transfusion-transmissible infections, predominantly because they participate with a sense of social responsibility and have no hidden agenda whatsoever to conceal information about their lifestyles or morbidities, which can make them unsuitable for blood donation.[1],[5]

In fact, those nations that have a well-organized blood donor program, the regular donors are well-informed about eligibility criteria and they themselves avoid from donating if they are not fulfilling the checklist and prevent wastage of blood or minimize the associated financial expenses (equipments, test kits, etc.).[3],[4] In contrast, the family/replacement donors are generally not informed about the eligibility clauses and often provide partially correct or even false information without understanding the importance of the questions, just with an intention to save the lives of their loved ones.[1]

The scenario becomes even worse in case of paid donors, who generally donate blood in exchange of monetary benefits without a desire to save lives, often hide important information and as they are generally from poor socioeconomic background with unhealthy lifestyles, and have a high prevalence of blood-borne infections.[1],[3],[4] Furthermore, in an attempt to earn more money, they donate blood more frequently and endanger their own health standards.[1]

However, the global mission to accomplish 100% voluntary blood donation is plagued by multiple challenges, namely poor political commitment and support (viz., absence of an effective national blood program, poor infrastructure, implementation of the existing policies, etc.), fragmented blood banking system with minimal coordination, dearth of financial support to implement all the activities recommended under the program, shortage of trained staff to perfectly execute the procedures, no priority given to donor's education, and level of trust among the community members about the blood transfusion.[4],[5],[6]

A global framework for action has been proposed to ensure complete voluntary blood donation through accomplishment of four major goals, namely developing an enabling atmosphere (through advocacy, formulation of a national program, and through collaboration and partnerships); encouraging a culture of voluntary blood donation (by analyzing blood donors, launching initiatives for donor education, involving media, etc.); assembling and preserving a safe and sustainable donor base (with the help of educating-motivating and recruiting new donors, mobilizing the youth population, converting other donors to voluntary blood donors, tracing previous donors, and recognizing donors' contribution to the society); and extending quality assured services to donor (viz., development of a healthy environment, conduction of mobile camps, health education, and ensure they have a good experience).[1],[3],[6] This proposed framework can serve as the basic document depending on which the national blood donation program can be developed and implemented.[6]

To conclude, in order to meet the challenge of demand exceeding supply and to reduce the prevalence of transmission of blood-borne infections, it is vital to concentrate on the promotion of voluntary blood donation.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

World Health Organization.Blood safety and availability-Fact sheet No.279. 2015; Available from:[Last accessed on 2016 Jun 13].  Back to cited text no. 1
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Thank you for saving my life: Blood donation matters. J Res Med Sci 2016;21:13.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
World Health Organization.Voluntary unpaid blood donations must increase rapidly to meet 2020 goal. 2016;Available from:[Last accessed on 2016 Jun 13].  Back to cited text no. 3
Marwaha N., Voluntary blood donation in India: Achievements, expectations and challenges. Asian J Transfus Sci 2015;9:S1-2.  Back to cited text no. 4
Mishra SK, Sachdev S, Marwaha N, Avasthi A. Study of knowledge and attitude among college-going students toward voluntary blood donation from north India. J Blood Med 2016;7:19-26.  Back to cited text no. 5
World Health Organization.Towards 100% Voluntary Blood Donation-A Global Framework for Action. Geneva: WHO press 2010. pp. 1-24.  Back to cited text no. 6

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College nd Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, hiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196492

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