June 14 is globally observed as “World Blood Donor Day” with the goal to promote blood donation as an act of solidarity with the theme “Safe Blood saves lives”. Voluntary blood donation manifests the fundamental human values of altruism, respect, empathy and kindness. This is all the more relevant to us, given the rich spiritual heritage we enjoy as Bhutanese. This special day highlights the stories of people whose lives have been saved through blood donation; thereby, motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood and encouraging people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so, particularly the young folks. Countries in the world face potential shortages of blood for transfusions due to a significant reduction in voluntary blood donations, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The need for blood transfusions and medications continues to grow and to maintain an adequate pool of safe blood in the blood banks is a requirement at this critical situation. Thus, strict additional safety measures have been installed at the blood collection sites for both donors and medical staff to avoid crowding and unnecessary exposures. In the wake of the recent pandemic, we have seen a great force of goodness and generosity from our citizens for coming forward to help MOH in particular through so many other initiatives including blood donation. I take this opportunity to thank all the blood donor organizers, regular blood donors and blood donor motivators for their life-saving gifts of blood and raising awareness of the need for regular blood donations. On this special occasion, I would like to urge everyone to continue this noble act of volunteerism. I would like to also thank the Bank of Bhutan for their immense support as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for supporting the Ministry of Health to observe the day and would like to acknowledge the BoB staff for being the regular blood donors. The Ministry of Health also acknowledges the World Health Organization, for their long term support both financially and technically in maintaining a safe blood transfusion system in the country.
(Ms. Dechen Wangmo)
MINISTRY OF HEALTH