Ping- pong, a game for life – IFMSA celebrating World Blood Donor Day

World Blood Donor Day 2012

Every Blood Donor Is A Hero


Around the world, medical students are celebrating June 14th as World Blood Donor Day. Under the theme “Every Blood Donor Is A Hero” they are organizing local, national and international activities to promote Voluntary, Non-remunerated blood donation culture.



Voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors are considered to be the source of the safest blood and blood products for patients. Their donation is an altruistic gift and NOT a marketable commodity. This places them in a unique position, demanding special respect and care; it also places a responsibility on all involved in public health care to treat voluntary blood donors as VIPs. And hence World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) has been established to celebrate and thank voluntary blood donors for their gift of life.

On June 14, countries worldwide celebrate World Blood Donor Day 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. The theme of the 2012 World Blood Donor Day campaign, “Every blood donor is a hero” focuses on the idea that every one of us can become a hero by giving blood. While recognizing the silent and unsung heroes who save lives every day through their blood donations, the theme also strongly encourages more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly.

IFMSA’s Perspective:

In this same mindedness, the IFMSA is getting ready to celebrating the first Mega edition of its new Project: Ping-Pong, A Game For Life, a concept designed by SCOPH Tunisia on September 2011 in order to rekindle joyfully the spirit of the blood donation campaigns.

The aim is to unit all IFMSA in this international Day, under the same cause, by organizing an inter-NMOs competition for blood donation, Which one of them will be the most generous and collect the bigger number of blood bags.

After opening a Call to invite all the interested National Members,

We received responses from namely: Argentina, Colombia, Nepal, Brazil, Libya, Sudan, Lithuania, Peru, Ghana, Chile and Tunisia.


All these countries showed their Big motivation to join, to unit, to play and to give for life, and who knows to be the winner of this First International Edition, which we hope to continue from one year to another.

On D-Day, All the game will be synchronized thanks to our main dynamic plateform: our Facebook event Page: where every 45 minutes from the time of the game start in each country until the end of the competition, our Central Unit of synchronization settled in Tunisia, will be posting updates on the general progress of the game. Thus, You are welcome to join us and share.

Hope to see you all among us


Your involvement and support will help to ensure a wide impact

for World Blood Donor Day 2012, increasing recognition

worldwide that giving blood is a heroic life life-saving act of solidarity. The enthusiasm and participation

are welcome at all levels to make World Blood Donor

Day a success.

Fatma Habboubi 
National Public health Officer 2011-2012
Tunisian Medical Students Association | Associa-Med Tunisia.


Objectives of this year’s campaign are to:

  • Creating a playfully involved SCOPHian plateform in celebrating the WBDD 2012
  • Build wider public awareness of the need for regular blood donation throughout the year in order to maintain an adequate supply of blood for all patients requiring transfusion.
  • “Celebrating the gift of blood” in a creative and participative atmosphere
  • Thank and reinforce the self-esteem of those who give blood so they continue to do it regularly;
  • Inspire those who do not give blood but are in good health to start donating blood;
  • Encourage blood service staff to recognize blood donors for their “heroic” act each and every time they donate blood,
  • Persuade ministries of health to show their appreciation of blood donors and provide adequate resources to move towards 100% voluntary unpaid blood donation

All this in order to get closer to edge of the target set by WHO and which states that if at least 1% of the national population donates blood, it is sufficient to cover its basic needs for secure blood.

As noted by the WHO, here are 10 Reasons for coming and share:

1. Blood transfusion saves lives and improves health.

However, many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood. Every country needs to ensure that blood supplies are sufficient and free from HIV, hepatitis viruses and other infections that can be transmitted through unsafe transfusion.

2. Transfusions are used to support various treatments.

In high-income countries, transfusion is most commonly used to support advanced medical treatment and complex surgeries like open-heart surgery and advance trauma care. In low- and middle-income countries it is used often for management of pregnancy-related complications, childhood malaria complicated by severe anaemia and trauma-related injuries.

3. An adequate supply of safe blood can only be assured through regular donation by voluntary unpaid blood donors.

Adequate supply of safe blood can only be assured through regular donation by voluntary unpaid blood donors, because the prevalence of bloodborne infections is lowest among these donors. It is higher among donors who give blood only as a replacement when it is required for a family and among those who give blood for money or other forms of payment.

 4. Voluntary unpaid donors account for 100% of blood supplies in 62 countries.

Since the inception of World Blood Donor Day in 2004, 111 countries have reported an increase in the number of voluntary donations. But in 40 countries, less than 25% of blood supplies come from voluntary unpaid donors.

5. Around 92 million blood donations are collected globally every year.

About 50% of these are donated in low- and middle-income countries where nearly 85% of the world’s population lives. The average blood donation rate is more than 13 times greater in high-income countries than in low-income countries.

6. Collections at blood centres vary according to income group.

About 8000 blood centres in 159 countries report collecting, on an average, 10 000 blood donations per centre (range from 20 to almost 500 000). The average annual collection per blood centre is 30 000 in high-income countries, 7500 in middle-income countries and 3700 in low-income countries.

 7. People in high-income countries donate blood more frequently than in low- or middle-income countries.

The median blood donation rate in high-income countries is 36.4 donations per 1000 people. This compares with 11.6 donations per 1000 people in middle-income countries and 2.8 donations in low-income countries.

 8. Donated blood should always be screened.

All donated blood should always be screened for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis prior to transfusion. Yet in 39 countries not all donated blood is tested for one or more of these infections. Testing is not reliable in many countries because of staff shortages, poor quality test kits, irregular supplies, or lack of basic laboratory services.

9. A single unit of blood can benefit several patients.

Separating blood into its various components allows a single unit of blood to benefit several patients and provides a patient only the blood component which is needed. About 91% of the blood collected in high-income countries, 72% in middle-income countries and 31% in low-income countries is separated into blood components.

10. Unnecessary transfusions expose patients to needless risk.

Often transfusions are prescribed when simple and safe alternative treatments might be equally effective. As a result such a transfusion may not be necessary. An unnecessary transfusion exposes patients to the needless risk of infections or severe transfusion reactions.


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