The Malta Independent 14 July 2020, Tuesday

World Blood Donation Day: 'Give blood and make the world a healthier place'

Sunday, 14 June 2020, 14:19 Last update: about 29 days ago

Today, 14 June, the world is celebrating World Blood Donor Day, and the World Health Organisation's theme this year is "Give blood and make the world a healthier place."

On this day, individuals are reminded of the importance to donate blood and it is a day to celebrate and thank all those blood donors for their voluntary action to donate blood and encourage others to do so.

Tony Micallef, a practice nurse who is in charge of PR at the National Blood Transfusion Service spoke to The Malta Independent regarding the importance of World Blood Donation day.

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Micallef recalled how since 2014, the World Blood Donor Day has been commemorated under the Patronage of former President Marie Louise Coliero, where in 2014, a thanksgiving ceremony was given to frequent Blood Donors. On that day, a number of male blood donors who donated more than 100 blood donations and women who donated at least 50 blood donations had received a Blood Donors award. Since then, the ceremony has been held annually on June 14; yet unfortunately due to the pandemic, the ceremony could not be held on the 14 June but is being postponed to a later day.

Regardless, to create awareness about World Blood Donor Day and its significance, a number of buildings and monuments have been lit red. "This initiative was launched last year with the aim of raising awareness of this day, and to also say thank you to all the blood donors," said Micallef. He said that this year, the President of Malta George Vella has also lit three presidential Palaces in red and encouraged others to participate in the initiative.

Other prominent buildings in Malta which have been lit in red were the Ministry of Health (Palazzo Castellana), Ministry for Family, Children's Rights and Social Solidarity, Villa Bighi in Kalkara and Mdina Catherdral. In Gozo, Banca Giuratele in Victoria as well as the Church of Lourdes in Mgarr.

"May this work and initiative continue to provide courage to people to come forward and donate blood for the first time and for those existing donors to committee themselves to continue donating regularly," said Micallef. "Even during a pandemic, people still need blood, especially now that operations have resumed and due to accidents, such as motorised ones, becoming more frequent." The clinic is in top conditions and has taken on all the measures to ensure the safety of both blood donors and staff.

For those who wish to donate, the Gwardamangia Blood Donation Centre is open daily from 8:00am-18:00pm. On Tuesday 16 June, at Xewkija Auberge there will be a mobile blood donation unit from 1:00pm-5:00pm.a


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