News ID: 120034
Published: 1037 GMT June 14, 2015

Official: Youths have healthiest blood

Official: Youths have healthiest blood

Iranian youths born after 1994 are considered as the healthiest population for donating blood, as they are vaccinated against hepatitis B at birth, the head of Iran's Blood Transfusion Organization (IBTO) said.

"Youths born after 1994 are IBTO's target population for increasing the number of blood donors," Ali Akbar  Pourfat'hollah said.

He added that programs are underway to encourage more young people to donate blood.

"Iran is facing an aging population, just like many developing nations, which could adversely afffect the volume of donated blood," the official said.

 Pourfat'hollah said World Blood Donor Day (June 14) is observed every year in Iran to honor blood donors.

"The occasion  focuses on thanking blood donors for their humanitarian and lifesaving activity," he said.

The official said the rate of frequent blood donation stands at 51 percent in the country, which is among the worlds' highest rates.

"About 2.5 million individuals donated blood in the year to March 2015, of whom 500,000 were frequent blood donors. Thy donated blood twice a year", he said.

Pourfat'hollah said an average three  percent of the country's entire population donate blood every year.

He said an annual 400,000 people are not allowed to donate blood either because it may pose a  risk to their life or  the health of receivers.

Donated blood  is tested for a number of infectious diseases including AIDS and hepatitis.

Iranians who travel abroad are banned from donating blood for six months in order to increase the safety of the donated blood.

Iranians regard blood donation as a heavenly action, which brings about heavenly rewards. Hence, blood donation rate increases during certain times in the year, including Ashura (the 10th day of the lunar month of Muharram, which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam) and Ramadan 21, which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Ali (PBUH), the first Shia Imam.

However, IBTO has urged people to make donations during the whole year.

The theme of this year's World Blood Donor Day reads "Thank You for Saving My Life".

June 14 was designated as the World Blood Donor Day following the discovery of ABO blood group system by Karl Landsteiner.

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