WHO in safe blood drive18th June 2007
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a campaign to ensure that safe blood is delivered to women around the world in a bid to prevent hundreds of thousands of maternal deaths annually.
The campaign, "Safe Blood for Safe Motherhood", was launched June 14, World Blood Donor Day 2007.
Around half a million women die every year from complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth.
About 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries, and many are the result of a lack of safe blood for transfusions, WHO said in a statement on its website.
Of maternal deaths in developing countries, up to half are the result of severe bleeding during delivery, it said, making such deaths the leading cause of maternal mortality.
The global day's events were hosted this year by Canada's blood donor organisation, and the Canadian health authorities.
Festivities and activities were held globally, with headquarters in Ottawa, to celebrate the contribution of voluntary blood donors around the world, WHO said.
The events were jointly coordinated by the WHO, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Society of Blood Transfusion and the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations.
Women in developing countries receiving blood transfusions are at risk of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections through unsafe blood.
"If current trends continue, the world will fail to meet target five of the Millennium Development Goals to reduce maternal mortality," said WHO director-general Dr Margaret Chan.
"We must do everything we can to improve the chances of women during and after childbirth."
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Title: WHO in safe blood drive
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 3154
Date Added: 18th Jun 2007