World Blood Donor Day

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

Blood safety timeline

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  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