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World Blood Donor Day 2017

Fighting infectious disease, one blood donation at a time

On World Blood Donor Day 2017, Roche is continuing its fight against infectious disease by raising awareness of the importance of blood safety.

Infectious diseases represent a major cause of death worldwide. Every year, 1.45 million people die of viral hepatitis1 and in 2014, 1.2 million died of AIDS-related causes.2 Following the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Zika became the latest virus to raise significant public health concern.

Enabling rapid response in times of crisis

Blood-borne and thus capable of being transmitted via blood transfusion, it was suspected that the Zika virus had infected an estimated 80,000 people in Puerto Rico by February 2016.3 A public health emergency was declared and local blood collection was suspended.

Since April 2016, more than 2.9 million blood donations have been screened for Zika virus, and over 400 of those donations have tested positive and been removed from the blood supply.4

Delivering vital information to healthcare professionals

With 108 million blood donations collected globally every year,5 the safety of the blood supply is paramount. Proper screening dramatically reduces the risk of exposing patients to transfusion-transmissible infections.

Roche’s commitment to developing fast, accurate and high-volume testing technologies helps ensure safe blood donations, even in the context of infectious disease outbreaks, and contributes to saving lives worldwide.

Our Dedication to Global Blood Safety

Continuous Delivery of Innovation


1. World Health Organization, World Hepatitis Day. Last accessed May 2016 at
2. World Health Organization, HIV/AIDS fact sheet. Last accessed May 2016 at
3. McNeil, Donald G. Puerto Rico Reports First Microcephaly Case Linked to Zika. The New York Times, 13 May 2016. Last accessed May 2016 at
4. The total number of donations screened (over 2.9 million) and the total number of units reactive for Zika (over 400) is drawn from data tracked by the Roche screening instrument and transmitted to the Roche Molecular Systems clinical study database established under the FDA Investigational New Drug framework. Weekly reports are shared with the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the AABB and others monitoring the Zika outbreak in Puerto Rico. American Red Cross. Donation FAQs. Accessed June 13, 2017.
5. World Health Organization, World Blood Donor Day 2016. Last accessed May 2016 at