In the last few years, there is a sustainable growth in the number of blood donors. In 2010 their number was 162 658, compared to 160 417 in 2009.
During the year the BRC efforts in this field were directed towards promoting voluntary blood donation by:
- Increasing public awareness about the situation in the country and the importance of voluntary non-remunerated blood donation.
- Recruitment and retention of voluntary blood donors.
- Raising the prestige of the voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.
In 2010 the BRC worked in partnership with the National Centre of Hematolgy and Transfusiology (NCHT), the regional divisions of the Centre and the media.
For seventh consecutive time, in 2010 BRC celebrated 14th June – World Blood Donor Day under the slogan “New Blood for the World”. BRC and NCHT awarded ten long-term voluntary blood donors with honorary plaque. Among the awarded there were young people between 20-24 years old, who had given blood over 7 times.
Building positive attitude towards donorship and in particular blood donorship among students and young people
The efforts were directed towards promoting blood donation in the educational institutions. Some BRC branches focused on 10-12 years old children (Burgas), while others targeted 18 years old youngsters (Sofia, Pleven and others). The aim was to introduce to the young people the main functions of blood in the human body and the principles of voluntarism and non remuneration in blood donation.
Last year the BRC branch in Sofia-city continued the project “Join us, your blood is important too” for school pupils. Twelve voluntary blood donation promotional events were organized and as a result, 130 school pupils donated blood for the first time.
Active participation in national blood donation campaigns
The organization of national campaigns for voluntary blood donation every spring and autumn became a tradition. The BRC is one of the main organizers of these campaigns, which involve many volunteers, most of them being young people. The regional branch of BRC Veliko Tarnovo became a co-founder and a member of the “Regional Blood Donation Council” - first of its kind. Other members of the Council are the Regional Administration, hospital “Dr. Stefan Cherkezov”, Regional Health Insurance Fund, other institutions and NGOs. During the spring blood donation campaign, the Council organized a children's picture contest with prizes, on the topic of voluntary blood donation.
In the autumn campaign, the Regional branch in Sofia and a team from NCHT organized an educational seminar on the topic “Training of volunteers in blood donors’ recruitment”. 35 volunteers, pupils and university students participated in the event. As a result, during the autumn campaign in Sofia, 595 students donated blood, 307 of them being blood donors for a first time.
In 2010 blood donation campaigns in universities involved more than 3 000 young students from different education institutions in the country.
The most active regional BRC branches in regard to blood donation were those in Sofia-city, Russe, Stara Zagora, Sliven, Kyustendil, Haskovo, etc.