The benefits of voluntary blood donation are plentiful. For one thing, one person’s blood can save three lives. Another benefit is the positive mental health outcomes of altruism. People who donate blood regularly have been linked to lower risk of depression, increased life expectancy, and decreased stress. Ultimately, donating blood can improve the quality of life for everyone in the community. In addition, donors can feel better about themselves while helping others.
The need for blood is increasing worldwide, as our population ages and health care systems improve. Nearly forty percent of blood donations occur in high-income countries, but 61 percent are in low-income countries. Only 54 percent of all blood donations are given to people aged 5 years and younger, so the demand is rising. In addition, there is a growing age-related demand for blood. Developing countries have higher blood demand than high-income countries.
According to WHO, 62 countries report fewer than 10 blood donations per 1000 people. These countries are mostly low- or middle-income countries. Likewise, the gender ratio is disproportionately male: fourteen countries have less than 10 percent female blood donors. Nevertheless, the overall rate of blood donation is high. It’s a matter of time before people in developing countries develop a national blood policy and plan to increase the number of donors.
In addition to gender, other factors are involved in blood donation rates. The current ban bans women from becoming a blood donor because of certain inherent attributes or risk factors. This means that a man who has protected oral sex with another man, for example, is not eligible for the program. On the other hand, women who have unprotected sex with multiple partners of opposite sex are not disadvantaged.
Donors’ blood antigens and blood types are inherited, so it is difficult to find a match. Therefore, it is important to start searching for donors of the same racial or ethnic background as the person receiving the blood. It is also important to note that not all blood donors will be transfused. Almost every pint of blood donated is transfused to a patient in need. However, the number of women and men who are willing to give their blood differs by country.
The majority of blood donations are returned. This means that fewer women are required to give their blood. Hence, a single woman can donate blood without knowing her personal history. Besides, the women who are not aware of their personal histories are still eligible to donate blood. This way, women are able to donate blood without having to worry about any complications. This is why, the need for blood donation is so great.