The 2012 was a very important year for FIODS, full of proposals and initiatives, that let us achieve important goals. We reached 72 affiliated countries, we collected 21 million blood bags and we
are approximately 15 million of associates now. We achieved these objectives because our policies were clear, concrete and attractive. We were able to propose ideas and solutions, stimulate debates, obtain consensuses and participations. Our mission is to promote Blood Donation Culture, in a broad sense meaning, all over the world. If we could project a new world, its foundations would exactly be values such as responsibility, solidarity, consciousness, information and participation. The more we will answer to people needs and the more we will understand that in the world there is still a huge need of blood and a boundless need of solidarity, the more our actions will be more and more effective and precious.
Today 92 million blood bags are collected and this is not enough, millions of people die because of lack of blood.
In Latin America, in 2011, 9.3 million units of blood were collected, 62% of which was from occasional or familiar donors.
In Africa the annual estimated needs is 9 million blood units and the countries of this region are able to collect only half of it.
In Asia there is the same criticality, but the incredible thing is that 94% of blood donations are from men, while the remaining are from women. This is, most of all, due to the low levels of hemoglobin.
IFBDO task is very hard and it shows many difficulties, that we have to overcome with intelligence, creativity, wiliness and lot of conviction. Our challenge is to ensure the universal access to safe and qualitative blood and so we need to promote donation as a happy moment.
Finally, blood donors do deserve a special place; this donation act makes of the people an indispensable resource and it gives us the role of social coexistence builder. Donors have to act as expressive “school of life” for the younger generations, who are often researching, in a labored and difficult way, valid references in order to define one’s personality and one’s life guidelines. To donate means to release values such as solidarity, social and civil participation and protect the right to health. Solidarity has to be meant as a reciprocal tie of assistance, that links the individuals together and that links the man with the community; a society where donation culture represents a general consciousness, a society where the transfusion system needs are fully satisfied. To Donate means being able to individuate always new forms of growth and then behave paying constant attention to the problems that arise from the contemporary world, contributing in building up a new formative dimension of education and solidarity. The main goal of the solidarity culture development is personal growth; gain a greater sense of responsibility, potentiate one’s relational skills and, above all, revise one’s way of considering life and the world. To donate means to live a direct experience that can capture the helping relationship value, through which we can strongly and effectively affect the sense of responsible citizenship. Citizens’ sensitiveness and
openness are, indeed, through occasions and initiatives that promote the supportive protagonism, an effective breeding ground for a new society. The main motivations that make it possible to develop the association, in such an important way, come from the values and the ideals of the gesture of donating itself.
Gianfranco Massaro – IFBDO President