On April 12th 2018 the European Blood Alliance celebrated its 20th anniversary with a symposium that took place in Helsinki, where the first EBA meeting was held.
The first part of the conference saw presentations by prof. Juhani Leikola (the first EBA president), who shared the milestones of the creation of the organization, by dr Philippe Vandekerckhove (the current president), underlining the main values and areas of activity of EBA, and by dr. Kari Aranko, with an overview on all the projects the European Blood Alliance is investing on, including the joint statement on the promotion of Voluntary and Non Remunerated Blood Donation (VNRD) that EBA and FIODS are going to sign in order to strenghten their cooperation in spreading this core value of their mission.
On the second part of the symposium, around the theme ‘future challenges for the sustainability of the blood supply’, international guests took part in three panels dedicated respectively on safeguarding donor health and wellbeing, patients needs, good use of blood and sustainability of the transfusion system. FIODS brought the point of view of the community of blood donors and underlined the strategic role that their organizations can play in order to promote the ethical value of Voluntary Non Remunerated Blood Donation, a message that can’t really be taken for granted in the debate both at the European and International level, for the protection of donors and recipients ensuring at the same time the highest quality and safety standards for blood components.
The event featured also a presentation by the President of Établissement Français du Sang, François Toujas, and has been closed by prof. Pierre Tiberghien, Vice-President of the EBA. Finally, a video has been released as a tribute to all patients whose lives were saved with blood products.
On the same day, before the symposium, participants had a tour of the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service.