World Blood Donor Day 2012 commemorations in Tanzania

Guest of Honour, Hon. Leonidas Gama, visiting the blood donation pavilion in the Kilimanjaro region
Guest of Honour, Hon. Leonidas Gama, visiting the blood donation pavilion in the Kilimanjaro region

This year, the World Blood Donor Day was commemorated nationally in the northern region of Tanzania, Kilimanjaro.

The occasion was officiated by the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner, Hon. Leonidas Gama on behalf of the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Hon Dr. Hussein Mwinyi and attended by the Lordship Mayor of Moshi Municipal, regional officials, ministry of health officials, WHO staff, CDC, DANIDA and other partners, voluntary blood donors, the media and the Kilimanjaro community members.

Major events on WBDD, 2012

During the week of celebrations, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Hon Dr. Hussein Mwinyi held a press conference announcing the WBDD theme “Every Blood Donor is a hero”. The conference was well attended by various media houses including: TBC, ITV, Star TV, Clouds FM, Radio Wapo, Radio Tumaini, Mwananchi, Majira, Daily News and Nipashe.

The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) organized a two week blood donation campaign involving UN agencies, Insurance companies, Banks, Telecommunication companies; Faith based organizations, schools and the general public and managed to collect a total of 6140 units of blood.

The National Blood Transfusion Service in collaboration with mHealth Tanzania sent SMS to voluntary blood donors thanking and encouraging them to continue donating blood. NBTS also officially opened a blood collection satellite in the Lindi region where the Guest of Honor, Lindi Regional Commissioner, Ludovick Mwananzila, issued certificates of honor to voluntary donors and institutions that have been regularly donating blood.

Speech by Guest of Honor

The Guest of Honor began his speech by thanking all voluntary unpaid donors for their lifesaving gift of blood. He went on to thank the World Health Organization (WHO) for marking the day every year to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products. The Guest of Honor stated the objectives of this year’s WBDD campaign and emphasized that theme not only encourages people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly but also recognizes the silent and unsung heroes who save lives every day through their blood donations. He then described the country’s current blood needs, challenges and strategies towards meeting the deficit of 67% blood requirements as follows:

• To increase public awareness of the importance of blood donation.

• To involve the government, political and religious leaders and the media in raising awareness of the importance of donating in saving lives.

• To establish blood donor clubs.

• To thank and reinforce (e.g. through regular SMS) the self-esteem of those who give blood so they continue to do so regularly.

• To increase processing of blood products especially for children.

• To collaborate with the Tanzania Red Cross Society in increasing collection and distribution of blood in at least 6 regions of Tanzania by October, 2012.

Awareness creation activities

The general public participated in the procession well attended by school children displaying banners and posters messages on the importance of blood donation in saving lives.

During the commemorations there was a display of banners and posters, flyers, flags and badges bearing the WBDD theme and information about blood donation sites. Media involvement was key in drawing public attention to the importance of blood donation and recognizing the selfless individuals who donate their blood for people unknown to them. A number of Television, Radio programmes and newspaper articles were produced by different media houses from 1st – 14th June 2012.

Blood Donation exercise at WCO, Tanzania

WCO offered logistical support to NBTS in setting up a blood donation site at the WCO premises on the 14th of June 2012. WHO staff also participated in the blood donation exercise.

World Blood Donor Day 2012 commemorations in Tanzania [pdf: 1.92 MB]