Ten countries account for 65% of the global blood collection with United States of America top ranking followed by China, India, Japan, Germany, Russian Federation, Italy, France, Republic of Korea and United Kingdom.
Even though India reported the greatest increase in the number of voluntary unpaid blood donations from 3.6 million in 2007 to 4.6 million in 2008, it is an irony that despite nation with a billion population, against an annual requirement of 8 million units of blood, the country is able to collect only 5.6 million units of which only about 3 million units are from voluntary blood donors.
India has just about 4 voluntary blood donors per 1000 population as against 70 in Japan and 113 in Switzerland. It is expected in general that about 1 - 3% of a country's population should donate blood voluntarily to meet the entire demands of the country.
On 14 June 2011, countries worldwide celebrated World Blood Donor Day - WBDD with events to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. June 14 happens to be the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system. To reinforce the urgent need for more people all over the world to become life-savers by volunteering to donate blood regularly, the theme chosen for WBDD 2011 is "More blood. More life."
Around 92 million blood donations are collected annually across the globe from all types of blood donors (voluntary unpaid, family / replacement and paid). Approximately half of these blood donations are collected in high-income countries, home to 15% of the world's population.
Voluntary unpaid blood donors are vital for ensuring a sufficient, stable blood supply. No one has doubt that a well-established voluntary unpaid blood donor programme can indeed contribute to a significant reduction in the risk for infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis.
In 62 countries, national blood supplies are based on 100% or almost 100% (more than 99.9%) voluntary unpaid blood donations. Forty countries collect less than 25% of their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid blood donors. The World Health Organization's - WHO goal is for all countries to obtain all blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020.
In India age 18 - 24 constitutes highest 52.83% of blood donors followed by age 25 - 44 (28.38%) and age 45 -64 (18.78%). While female donors account for 40% or more of the blood supply in 25 countries, India has among its donors 94.0% males and 6% females.
Faculty and students of Shridhar University Pilani Rajasthan have taken up voluntary blood donation on a regular basis as a mission with passion. In the last one year they did three rounds of blood donation on June 14, 2010 October 1, 2010 and April 10, 2011. To mark the celebrations of WBBD, Prof BR Natarajan Pro Vice Chancellor on June 14, 2011 led a faculty - student team which included five first time donors from Shridhar University to the blood bank at Birla Sarvajanik hospital Pilani for voluntary blood donation.
Donation of Blood is a gesture of Goodwill and Care for the fellow human beings. There is no Gift more valuable than this, as it is actually a gift of life for the person who receives it. Blood is replaceable but a life is not. Access to safe blood is a key component of effective health care and voluntary donors are the cornerstone of a safe blood supply.