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Second year of the “Become a Blood Donor!” campaign increased the number of new donors by close to 4000! (Translation)

27 September 2010

The Become a Blood Donor! campaign, which took place from June 12th until August 13th was organized in 45 Czech hospitals. Based on the evaluation of the hospitals, the campaign reached its goal in its second year. After six months, hospitals saw a 77% increase in the number of donors. The total number of blood donations during the campaign increased by 3,830, in comparison with last year's campaign in July and August, an increase of 14.23%.* All hospitals considered the campaign to be successful and they would welcome it if it remained in place in the coming years. This data is from a survey which the organizers conducted with participants. Organizers were: Společnost pro transfuzní lékařství ČLS JEP (Company for transfusion medicine ČLS JEP) and the Birell brand.

"Currently, there are 293,000 registered donors in Czech Republic; however, in order to reach the optimal state, we are missing approximately another 128,000. That is why we welcome every campaign which aims to attract the general public's attention to the fact that Czech Republic does not have enough blood donors and what is worse, a large number of donors are getting older," Vít Řeháček, MD, says about the campaign. Vít Řeháček is the chairman of the Association for Transfusion Medicine of the Czech Medical Association JEP.
Besides the fact that current registered donors are getting older, a big problem is the fact that we aren't able to attract a sufficient number of new donors. This whole situation is made worse by plasma centres, which motivate donors with a financial reward. This situation is especially critical in large cities, where we currently lack the largest number of donors. Other reasons for the decline in voluntary donors are an unwillingness to release employees to give blood or due to general fear of giving blood. "This gloomy situation about blood donors brought us last year to an idea to prepare the Become a Blood Donor! campaign. With the help of this campaign, we wanted to especially bring attention to this problem, which could get even worse in the future and we wanted to provide the general public with all necessary information and thereby erase all the myths tied to this subject. Due to the fact that both last year and this year the campaign was very successful, we don't see a reason why we should not organize a campaign next year," Martina Kuncová, Manager of the Birell brand said of the campaign.
The main point of the Become a Blood Donor! campaign was that everybody who during the campaign gave blood (and after, until reserves ran out) at one of the participating 45 donor centres, would receive a can of non-alcoholic beer, Birell, together with an information kit about being a donor and a plea to forward the material to his/her co-workers who aren't blood donors. All those interested could then find out under which circumstances and how many times a year they can donate blood, about what to eat before giving blood and what to do so that their body has a speedy recovery after a blood donation.
A great help in the regeneration process after a blood donation is non-alcoholic beer, which has a number of beneficiary agents and nutrients. That is why a can of Birell, which each donor received, helped to quickly replenish necessary fluids and nutrients after a blood donation.

* The results are based on data received from 43 donor centres

Overview of survey results:

45 hospitals participated in the campaign.
The percentage of returned surveys was 95.56%, which means that 43 hospitals provided answers.

33 hospitals, 76.74%, noted in the course of the campaign an increase in the number of donors in comparison with monthly totals from July and August 2009.
24 hospitals, 55.81% of hospitals, noted in the course of the campaign an increase in the number of first-time donors in comparison with monthly totals from July and August 2009.

The number of donors who in the course of the campaign came to donate blood increased among participating hospitals in comparison with monthly totals from July and August 2009 from 26,910 donors to a total of 30,740 donors, an increase of 3,830 donors. This means a 14.23% increase.
The number of first time donors who in the course of the campaign came to donate blood increased among participating hospitals in comparison with monthly totals from July and August 2009 from 1,670 donors to a total of 1,702 donors, an increase of 32 donors. This means a 1.91% increase. *

All 43 responding hospitals, or 100%, voiced an interest in participating in the campaign next year.
All 43 responding hospitals, or 100%, voiced satisfaction with holding the campaign next year.

* The number of first-time donors is false (in reality the number was higher), since some hospitals did not indicate in the survey the numbers of first-time donors at all or did not indicate a number for August 2010. Some hospitals also experienced shutdowns during the campaign; the number of donors who did not come due to a shutdown was proportionate to the time of the shutdown.

Selected comments by representatives from participating hospitals:

"The average number of visits for a voluntary blood donation outside of the summer season was approximately 1450 to 1600 donors per month. The summer season used to be approximately 200 to 250 fewer donors. This informative campaign "Become a Blood Donor!" mobilized last year's current donors so that they came to donate in the summer months and also attracted a considerable number of new donors. In July and in August of 2007-2008, we registered only about 70 donors per month. This year's informative campaign probably also improved general knowledge of donors and we noted a lower percentage of those who could not come for a blood donation due to various current health problems. "
Head physician, Růžena Herynková, MD, Fakultní nemocnice Plzeň (University hospital Plzeň)

"The campaign was very well organized and successful. Donors appreciated a nice refreshment after a donation and we appreciated that they came in larger numbers. This goes for both regular donors and first time donors. "
Head physician, Jitka Kracíková, MD, Fakultní nemocnice (University hospital) Královské Vinohrady

"The Department of Transfusions at the Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (IHBT) wants to thank the organizers for this campaign for voluntary blood donors, who deserve everybody's appreciation. Blood donors were in general very nicely surprised by the beer present, especially on hot days. We also appreciated the preparation of a leaflet filled with clear information. We would like to thank all blood donors especially in the name of our patients who without help from the donors could not be treated with transfusions, which they need. Usually, after announcements in the media, the number of new donors increases. We are looking forward to seeing a majority of them again."
docent MD. Zdenka Gašová, CSc, Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion

"We consider the campaign to be successful because every expression of support to donors in their decision to come to the Department of Transfusions to donate what belongs only to them, what cannot be reproduced, what saves lives, is welcome."
Head physician, Dana Galuszková, MD, Ph.D., MBA, Fakultní nemocnice (University Hospital) lomouc

"Our transfusion department and blood and plasma donors, we all are very happy that we could participate in this campaign. Donors appreciated the non-alcoholic beverage, especially on hot days."
Head physician, Martin Svoboda, MD, Hospital Jindřichův Hradec

Contact information for media:

Lucie Neubergová
Account Manager
Native PR, s.r.o.
email: lucie.neubergova@nativepr.cz
Ph.: +420 221592 450

This SABMiller subsidiary news release has been translated from its local market language to English language for publication on www.sabmiller.com. We have attempted to provide an accurate translation of the original material but due to the difficulties of translation slight differences may exist.
Note, the news release was first published in its local market on 24/09/2010.

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