Pete Townshend’s Music Amplifies World Blood Donor Day Celebrations

  • Musician Pete Townshend has given permission for his classic song ‘Give Blood’ to be used for the first time to promote blood donation. Global Blood Fund, a charity focused on encouraging voluntary blood donation, has produced world-music interpretations in multiple languages for international use to inspire a new generation of blood donors.
  • World Blood Donor Day on 14 June is one of only nine official WHO Global Health Days, celebrating each year the vital contributions of tens of millions of blood donors around the world in enabling hospital procedures and saving lives. This year’s event is especially important as the global pandemic has devastated worldwide blood collection.

 To celebrate World Blood Donor Day on 14 June, the charity Global Blood Fund (GBF) has released multiple interpretations of Pete Townshend’s song ‘Give Blood’, performed by leading musicians from around the world. Set to video to encourage sharing on social media and through other channels, these are being donated by the charity free-of-charge to blood services in low and middle-income countries throughout Africa, Latin America and the Middle-East for use on and around World Blood Donor Day.

“The charity Global Blood Fund has released multiple interpretations of Pete Townshend’s song ‘Give Blood’, performed by leading musicians”

Pete Townshend, guitarist and principal songwriter for the legendary rock band The Who comments; “Although it is now more than 35 years since I wrote the song ‘Give Blood’, this is the first time it has actually been used to encourage donation. Shortage of blood around the world is a huge issue, particularly in poorer countries, and so I was delighted to give permission for Global Blood Fund to use my work to help communicate the need for more donors to come forward.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that the minimum number of units of blood needed to sustain an adequate level of health equals 1% of a nation’s population – 10 units per 1000 people. Yet many poorer countries fall well short of this goal. The lack of infrastructure and equipment for collection and processing of blood components is a key impediment to providing a sustainable blood supply, as is a severe shortage of volunteer donors. Though blood and safe transfusion services are essential parts of any strong health system, the safety, sustainability and adequacy of blood remains a major health challenge for numerous countries.

The following versions of the song, which are featured in a purpose-made video, are being released:

As well as YouTube links above, all materials can also be accessed via https://globalbloodfund.org/wbdd-resources/