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World Blood Donor Day

6 May 2004

World Blood Donor Day

On 14 June 2004 the New Zealand Blood Service will join in a new global initiative - World Blood Donor Day - dedicated to celebrating and thanking voluntary blood donors.

The inaugural World Blood Donor Day has been launched by four international organisations working for the provision of safe blood globally, including the World Health Organisation.

The day - chosen because it's the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the Nobel prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system - is being launched in Johannesburg, South Africa, and will be hosted by the South African National Blood Service in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

In New Zealand, our theme is 'Unsung Heroes' and we will be engaging in activity that recognises these life-savers. And calling them life-savers isn't hyperbole - every donation can save up to three lives and some 80% of New Zealanders will need blood or a blood product during their lifetime.

We are compiling a wealth of background material on the New Zealand Blood Service, including case studies and fascinating facts and figures, which will be distributed early next month. In the meantime, please feel free to check out websites at www.wbdd.org and www.nzblood.co.nz.

If you would like to organise interviews or source angles and information specifically for your media outlet, please don't hesitate to contact Dean McLachlan (full contact details are listed below).

World Blood Donor Day is a major global initiative...and provides a unique opportunity to thank those very special people who provide the foundation of a safe blood supply.

We would be delighted if you could mark 14 June 2004 in your newsdesk diary...and even more thrilled if you could allocate some time and space to cover this significant event.

Thanks for your consideration of this approach...and kindest regards.

ENDS

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