11th International Colloquium on Voluntary, Non-Remunerated Blood Donors

Project at a glance

Dates and Place

12 - 18 January 2008, Cairo, Egypt

Project details

This 11th International Colloquium on the Recruitment of Voluntary, Non-Remunerated Blood Donors (Cairo, Egypt, 12-18 January 2008) is cosponsored by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, and is hosted by the Egyptian Red Crescent.

There is an ever shrinking base of eligible blood donors as the criteria for blood donor selection is tightened to reflect safety standards across the globe. The need for an open communication exchange, involving those tasked with the motivation and education of potential blood donors, has always been important but today it has become critical.

In many places, family/replacement donation has become so entrenched that efforts to establish a system based on true voluntary donations are faced with huge challenges. For example, lack of resources and lack of direction. 

This colloquium hopes to address some of the current challenges and establish ways to overcome roadblocks by, for example, learning from successful Club 25 Programmes and other youth programmes which have been piloted in several countries in recent years.

One of the short-term goals of this colloquium in Cairo is therefore to consolidate existing partnerships and establish new working relationships between those who are tasked with the recruitment and motivation of voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors. But the longer-term goal is also related to partnerships in a much broader sense, and here we refer to 'partnerships for human development'.

For example, National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies can play a major role in creating and supporting social cohesion in countries where the social and public systems have been weakened. And the contribution of voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors is something to be highly valued in such circumstances. With the likely formation of more International Club 25/Pledge 25 Programmes, which may arise as an outcome of this colloquium, the cosponsors suggest there will be tangible benefits to countries well beyond safer blood supplies and improved health care.

Where an investment is made in schools and universities in encouraging positive attitudes to blood donation, one of the outcomes is a sense of solidarity among young people and also a real sense of belonging to a wider community (excerpt of text by Peter Carolan Health and Care - Blood).

Role of ICVolunteers

ICVolunteers facilitates internships with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In this case, Tay Blythkubota has helped with the preparation of the event for several months, being involved in logistics, scholarship and visa coordination, as well as working with local volunteers during the event, reporting and documenting the discussions.

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