ISLAMABAD: President Dr. Arif Alvi said World Blood Donor Day, commemorated annually on June 14, served to raise awareness of the need to make voluntary donations and to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving donations. In a message on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, he said, ‘this year, the day is being celebrated around the theme donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives.” “Blood donation is indeed an act of solidarity as it is needed to save the life of women with complications during pregnancy and childbirth, children with severe anemia, often resulting from malaria or malnutrition, accident victims, and surgical and cancer patients.” “On this day we celebrate the enormous contributions of blood donors around the world and appreciate those who have donated blood in the past and pledge to continue doing so in the future, he added. He said regular blood donation by a sufficient number of healthy people was needed to ensure that blood will always be available whenever and wherever it is needed. “A healthy person may donate blood several times of year without any adverse effect on his health with a minimum interval of 12 weeks between two donations whereas the platelet donors may donate more frequently up to 24 times per year.” The President said according to the World Health Organization since 2016, over 2.5 billion people worldwide were in need of blood and blood products. “Therefore, we need to continue to find new blood donors and encourage those who are already giving blood to do so more frequently.” He said, “in Pakistan, the awareness campaign is even more essential as the rate of blood donation in Pakistan is very low compared to the rest of the world. In Pakistan over 90 percent of total blood transfused is donated by the friends and relatives of patients while the remaining 10% is donated by professional donors.” “Therefore, there is a need to create awareness on all platforms of conventional and social media about voluntary blood donation to dispel misconceptions about blood donation and for creating the necessary infrastructure for making donations, screening the donated blood, and its preservation on internationally accepted standards and norms.” He called upon all healthy adult men and women of Pakistan to donate blood as frequently as possible as an act of piety to save lives and give relief and happiness to the recipients and their family members.