President Boakai Declares Friday, June 14, as World Blood Donor Day

President Boakai Declares Friday, June 14, as World Blood Donor Day

The President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., has by proclamation declared Friday, June 14, 2024, as World Blood Donor Day and is to be observed throughout the Republic of Liberia as a Working Holiday. President Boakai calls upon the Ministry of Health, relevant government agencies, local and international partners to initiate and execute programs befitting the observance of the day. According to a Foreign Ministry release, this year’s celebration will be held under the international theme: “20 Years of Celebrating Giving: Thank You Blood Donors! And the local theme: “Increasing Voluntary Non Paid Blood Donation to Ensure Access to Safe Blood in Liberia”.

This theme conveys a message of encouragement and hope, that improved access to safe blood supply is possible and would turn the tide against maternal and neonatal mortality. The Slogan for this year’s celebration is “Give Blood, Share Life”. The Proclamation stresses that being conscious of the dangerous effects of a lack of safe blood supply, Liberia joins the global community, Friday, June 14, 2024, to celebrate “World Blood Donor’s Day”.

This celebration provides a platform to appreciate voluntary, non-paid blood donors for their life- saving contributions and to raise public awareness of the need for the availability and appropriate use of safe blood and blood products. The Presidential Proclamation furthers that World Blood Donor’s Day mobilizes government, political, and social authorities to commit to effectively reducing mortality related to a lack of safe blood supply.

World Blood Donor’s Day is a worldwide event held on June 14th each year in remembrance of Karl Landsteiner, the “founder” of modern blood transfusion and the immense contribution his discovery of the ABO Blood Group System in 1901 has made in the field of medicine. On June 14, 2024, the government of the Republic of Liberia through the Ministry of Health will globally join the rest of the world to commemorate the World Blood Donor's Day. Reports show that maternal morbidity and mortality arising from delay in the provision of, or lack of, safe blood is on of Liberia’s most significant public health challenges. Even though maternal mortality due to hemorrhage accounts for twenty four percent (24%) globally and forty five percent (45%) in the African region (WHO 2011), delays in the provision of or lack of safe blood is gradually contributing to the high mortality in Liberia.

However, countries worldwide, including Liberia’s blood transfusion services, face the challenge of making sufficient blood available while ensuring its quality and safety. About eight percent (8%) of maternal cases at health facilities receive blood transfusion, and at least one-fourth (1/4) of all maternal deaths due to bleeding could be prevented by rapid access to blood transfusion. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidance, Liberia needs 51, 930 – 103, 860 safe blood units annually.