This manual aims to serve as a framework for the development of national policies on safe blood in every country, the manual urges that all blood services should be established only on the basis of voluntary blood donation and that there should be support for the development of programmes for the education and recruitment of voluntary blood donors.

The principal aims of the manual are to:

  • serve as a framework within which the government of each country may develop and implement a national policy on blood safety, based on the concept of voluntary, non-remunerated, altruistic blood donation
  • empower personnel in the field to recruit and retain voluntary blood donors and to phase out any dependence on family/replacement donors by asking these donors (if eligible) to give blood for the wider community needs
  • develop models of good practice, leading to an improved service for blood donors, prescribers of blood and recipients of donated blood
  • provide ideas and suggestions that can be adapted by each individual recruiter to fit his or her own national and local circumstances
  • encourage the immediate use of ideas and models through the development of a self-assessment exercise and individual plans of action



The manual is divided into seven modules, each dealing with a different aspect of the recruitment and retention of voluntary blood donors, and support strategies such as the forging of partnerships of different kinds. There is also a Resources section, containing additional documentation and stories from blood services around the world that are designed to broaden the scope of experience within the manual.

The modules cover the following topics:

  • Module 1: Setting the scene – Blood, blood products, and blood transfusion therapy in the global context. The importance of voluntary blood donation.
  • Module 2: Spreading the word – The planning and implementation of education and social marketing programmes for blood donor recruitment.
  • Module 3: Bringing donors in – Steps in the identification of target recruitment groups and strategies for their recruitment and retention.
  • Module 4: Serving the donor – Approaches to providing exceptional service to donors, with the aim of recruiting and retaining voluntary, non-remunerated, altruistic blood donors.
  • Module 5: Working together – Building partnerships at national and global levels, working with the media, planning local celebrations for World Blood Donor Day, involving partners to help achieve certain Millenium Development Goals, and ultimately bringing about community ownership of the blood programme.
  • Module 6: Involving young people – Educating and involving young people through different kinds of programmes, such as Pledge/Club 25 Programmes and other initiatives that link voluntary blood donation with wider health promotion activities.
  • Module 7: Getting organized – Strategies for ensuring a quality service, with a particular emphasis on effectiveness, efficiency and the proper conduct of blood drives.

Usage: Guidance for implementation

Audience: National Society staff and volunteers


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