WHO Fiji and friends give blood

Press release

13 June 2014 - On World Blood Donor Day (14 June) we are reminded that transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives each year. Blood can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and can support complex medical procedures. Blood also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal care.

In the Pacific, WHO Member States strive to achieve the target of having an adequate supply of safe blood, 100% of which comes from volunteer non-paid blood donors.

Year-round collaboration with Fiji National Blood Service

In Fiji, there have been great strides towards improving access to safe blood products including:

  • 100% of donated blood is screened for infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis.
  • Voluntary non-remunerated donations have increased from 53% in 2011 to 75% in 2013.
  • The Ministry of Health has initiated large-scale reform of the Fiji National Blood Service (FNBS) to be more responsive to patients' needs and more convenient for blood donors.

WHO has been supporting these achievements, in collaboration with FNBS, through:

  • Development and review of national blood policies and strategic plans
  • Review and advice on donor selection guidelines
  • Training and capacity building of local blood services staff through a one-year distance education program based on WHO’s Blood Safety modules

Advocacy and action: Giving blood to those who give life

Furthering the strong collaboration between FNBS and WHO, and to promote World Blood Donor Day in 2014, WHO hosted a blood donation drive and certificate presentation ceremony for organisers of blood donation drives in Suva. 44 units of blood were collected on the day, close to the 50 blood donations required daily in Fiji to maintain a minimum supply of blood and blood products.

WHO staff preparing for World Blood Donor Day celebrations

WHO Representative in the South Pacific, Dr Liu Yunguo, awarding certificates to organisers of blood donation drives

Community advocates receiving certificates at WHO Fiji

WHO’s IT officer, Mr Anish Prasad, giving blood

WHO’s POLHN Coordinator (Fiji), Mr Yasin Mohammed, giving blood

WHO Secretary, Ms Va Koroivuki, giving blood, assisted by FNBS intern phlebotomist Chloe