More than 2 million Russians donate blood annually - expert

MOSCOW, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - More than 2 million Russians give their blood to blood banks annually, Yevgeny Zhiburt, director of the Federal State Institution Blood Center, said at a press conference in Moscow on the first World Blood Donor Day.

According to him, 1% of Russians receive donor blood annually.

Zhiburt admitted to "problems with getting donor blood due to understandable financial reasons."

"Donating blood is a social duty; in fact, we help ourselves in this way, though it has not become the cause of all society, but only of doctors and patients," the director said.

He said that 500 to 1,500 patients received donor blood in Moscow every day.

"In our daily activities we suffer from the shortage of donor blood, especially in big cities," Zhiburt said. At the same time he said "in emergency situations the number of people willing to donate blood grows several times over."

According to Zhiburt, the Health Ministry has tried several times to work out the Target Federal Blood Donor Program.

"Unfortunately all of the drafts were rejected by the Economic Development Ministry," he said.

"The national concept for the development of donorship should be approved at least by a government decree," Zhiburt thinks. "We have a draft concept, but, unfortunately, it has not been approved at the national level," he said.

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