WHO fact sheet on Blood donations

blood donationBlood Donation 10 facts

This is a share from WHO

  1. Blood donation saves lives and improves health. Voluntary blood donation ensures screening of the donor. So patients requiring transfusion receive safe blood and blood products in time.
  2. Blood transfusions are used to support various treatments. In low-income countries the blood transfusions majorly done for pregnancy related complications, severe anaemia and trauma injuries. In high income countries about 76% of all transfusions are for people over 65yrs and for supportive care, like cardiovascular surgery.
  3. Since blood is an immediate urgent need, its availability is very important. Adequate reliable supply of safe blood can only be assured through voluntary donors.
  4. In 60 countries 100% of the blood donations are from voluntary unpaid donors. But 72 countries still report that 50% of their donors are voluntary unpaid but much of their blood supply is still dependent on family/replacement and paid donors.
  5. 108 million blood donations are collected globally every year. The average blood donation rate is more than 9 times higher in high income countries.
  6. The collection at blood centres vary with the income group. 10,000 blood centres in 168 countries collect blood donation.
  7. The median blood donation rate in high income countries is 36.8 donations per 1000 people. While it is 11.7 in middle-income countries and 3.9 in low-income countries.
  8. Donated blood should always be screened to avoid transfusion transmitted infections like HIV, Hepatitis B and C or syphilis. 25 countries are unable to do due to irregular supply of test kits, short of staff  or basic lab facilities.
  9. A single unit of blood can benefit several patients when the components are separated and delivered on need base.
  10. Unnecessary transfusions increase the risk of the patients to transfusion  transmitted infection and other transfusion reactions.





smokerrsSharing from tobacco advocacy workshop conducted by VHA-Goa and GoaCan/

The Global Scene

Tobacco is largest killer worldwide. 1-10 deaths worldwide are tobacco associated.  80% of these being in developing countries.

29% of the world population is addicted to smoking. One might argue that it is not really very significant. What makes it significant is the tobacco abuser debuts at a young age of 13- 15. This abuse lowers his life span and he exits but his place is taken by the next addict. That is to say 29% might be constant and legible but within the 29% there is constant new infusion. Of the tobacco abusers, 48% of men and 10.3%of women are smokers. The rest use smokeless tobacco. 84% of the tobacco abusers are in the developing countries.

In the 20th century 100 million deaths were caused by tobacco it is to hit 1 a billion in 21st century and by 2030 70% of the tobacco deaths will be developing countries.

The Indian Scene

India records 9 lakh tobacco and tobacco associated deaths. 2200 Indians die every day in a tobacco related death. And each day 5500 Indian youth start smoking—this makes the 29% relevant.

India reports the largest number of oral cancers. And 40% of the Indian cancer etiology is tobacco associated.

The Demography of Indian tobacco Users:

57% male and 11% females use tobacco in one form or the other.

Women chew tobacco more than smoke. This is more prevalent in the rural areas as compared to urban.

NE India records maximum tobacco abuse.

40.3% on Indians suffer from secondary tobacco inhalation.

Tobacco And Youth

Tobacco in the Indian context becomes very complicated as it presents itself in different form. Though smoking is the most widely acknowledged form.

37% of children start tobacco use by the age of 10.smoking forms 4.2% of this and more boys smoke than girls.11.9% of students use other tobacco products.

Various forms of tobacco presentation

Smoke presentation—cigarette, beedi, cigars, dhumti, cheroot, chutta, pipes, chillum, hooklis, hookah.

Smokeless presentation – gutka, zarda khaini, paan masala, paan masala with tobacco, tobacco water, meeta mawa, snuff, gul—applied on the teeth, gudhka—toothpaste, dentobac—toothpaste  Mishri—applied on the tooth.

Chemical Analysis of The Tobacco Concoction.

Tobacco contains psycho active component nicotine and nine other alkaloids. Nicotine is highly addictive. It causes increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and increase in blood fats. 4800 chemicals are found in a burning cigarettes, 69 of the identified ones are carcinogenic or the ones that cause cancer.

Nicotine à acts on the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine causes euphoria, and speeds metabolism. Speedy metabolism reduces hunger. The dopamine induced high drops causing a low that manifests as irritability and decreased concentration level. This in turn calls for the need for a fix. Or the next nicotine intake.

The short-term ill effects of this are—bad breathe, body odour, hair odour, stained fingers and teeth, tooth decay, breathlessness and sometimes even asthma.

Long-term adverse effect being – heart disease, reproductive disorders leading to impotency, cancer, respiratory embarrassment, stroke, neonatal deformities  that is deformities in a new-born child. Shrinking of the brain resulting in cognitive dysfunction, Alzheimer’s, cataract and loss of vision.

What is second-hand smoking?

Second hand smoking is the smoke inhaled by a non-smoker by being in the vicinity of a smoker. This is the mixture of exhaled smoke by a smoker along with the smoke emitted by the burning cigarettes. 30% increase of heart disease, 30% increase risk of lung cancer, respiratory illness asthma attacks, ear problems and if the expectant mother is a smoker then there could SIDS

And now third hand smoking

The invisible yet toxic brew of gaseous and particles clinging to the smokers hair and clothing. This lingers longer than the visible huff smoke trapped in the cushion covers curtains etc. and is a great threat to the children’s health. The residue that settles on the surface touched by the secondary smoke, (combination of exhaled smoke and burning cigarettes) contains heavy metals, carcinogens and sometimes even radioactive materials. This gets can get ingested into the system of babies, causing health issues for life.


  • Effective strategies for tobacco control manual for NGO’s HRIDAY N.Delhi.
  • Tobacco control laws a resource manual HRIDAY N.Delhi
  • Voluntary Health Association of India – Website.