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New Zealand celebrates National Blood Donor Week

Tuesday, June 13, 2023   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: volunteering, support, services, awareness

New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is marking the start of the country’s second annual National Blood Donor Week by calling for 40,000 more New Zealanders to ‘Find their Why’ and become lifesavers.

National Blood Donor Week is a way for NZBS to acknowledge the generosity of the New Zealand donor community, and to encourage others to join the donor registry.

“We currently have 117,000 amazing donors who help save the lives of 30,000 people every year. But with a growing and ageing population, and more blood and plasma being needed for patients – New Zealand is facing higher demands than ever for blood and blood products,” says Asuka Burge, NZBS National Marketing & Communications Manager.

“The number of people on the donor registry has only grown by 9,000 donors in the past five years. That’s why we are always looking to recruit new donors to replace donors who for many reasons can no longer donate.

“However, we have reached a tipping point. If we can’t encourage more people to join the donor registry, we may no longer continue to be self-reliant for blood and plasma products in Aotearoa.”

Someone requires a lifesaving transfusion of blood or plasma every 18 minutes in New Zealand,. Less than four percent of the eligible population are currently donating. NZBS needs 40,000 new donors in the next 12 months to ensure it can continue to be self-reliant and meet demand.

“Self-reliance means we can meet the needs of our population for blood and blood products through voluntary donations made entirely from our whānau of lifesavers. The increase in plasma demand is happening around the world, and if we can’t meet demand, we will be forced to compete on the global market for this lifesaving product. Our size and geographical location will make this extremely challenging.”

“All our donors are motivated by different reasons. Some started donating in high school. Some because they’ve had a direct link to someone who has needed a lifesaving transfusion. Others do it just because they feel it’s the right thing to do.

“This year, we’re challenging 40,000 more people to ‘Find their Why’. Even if your ‘why’ is because you like tea and biscuits – that’s enough for us!”

Find out if you are eligible to donate on the NZ Blood website, or calling 0800 GIVE BLOOD (0800 448 325). If you’re likely to be eligible, you can book an appointment at the nearest donor centre or mobile drive by downloading the New Zealand Blood Service Donor App.

“We’re extremely grateful to our dedicated community of voluntary donors who help ensure that blood and products are always available for whomever may need them,” says Ms Burge.

"If you’ve ever considered donating, there is no better time to find your ‘why’ and have a go than this National Blood Donor Week. It is only with New Zealanders’ recognition and support for self-reliance that we can continue to protect our blood supply for years to come.”