Internatonal Current Affairs - 2020

June 14: World Blood Donor Day

World Blood Donor Day observed every year across the world on June 14 to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. It also seeks to raise awareness of need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.

The theme for this year is ‘Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life’. The host is Greece. The theme highlights importance blood donation as action of solidarity. It also highlights fundamental human values of respect, empathy and kindness associated with unpaid blood donation systems.

Importance of blood donation

Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It helps patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer and with higher quality of life. It also supports complex medical and surgical procedures. The blood transfusion also plays essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during emergency response to man-made and natural disasters.


The World Blood Donors Day was instituted by World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2004 to raise awareness of need for safe bold and blood products and to thank donors. It is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by WHO along with World Tuberculosis Day (24 March), World Health Day (7 April), World Malaria Day (25 April), World Immunization Week (last week of April), World No Tobacco Day (31 May), World Hepatitis Day (28 July) and World AIDS Day (1 December).

Scientists discover 163 new species in ecologically diverse Greater Mekong region

Scientists have discovered as many as 163 new species in the ecologically diverse Greater Mekong region of the Southeast Asia. It includes 3 mammals species, 9 amphibians, 11 fish, 14 reptiles and 143 plants. 

These species were discovered in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand. It was revealed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report.

Key Facts
  • The new species include lizard with dragon-like horns Acanthosaura phuketensis. It was discovered at the Thai tourist island of Phuket.
  • New frog species Leptolalax isos which can fit on a fingertip was discovered in Cambodia and Vietnam.
  • It also includes eye-catching Parafimbrios lao, a snake with rainbow-like scale colours around its head. It was found in the limestone karsts region of northern Laos.
  • A new newt species Tylototriton anguliceps with dazzling red and black markings was also discovered.

About Greater Mekong region

  • The Greater Mekong region is one of the most diverse regions and biodiversity hotspot on the planet. It is a magnet for the world’s conservation because of the incredible diversity of species.
  • It includes southwestern China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. Mekong river helps this diverse region to sustain.
  • The region has a diverse geographic landscape including massifs, plateaus, and limestone karsts, lowlands, deltas, fertile floodplains, forests and grasslands.
  • It is habitats for an estimated 20,000 plant species, 1,300 fish species, 1,200 bird species, 800 reptile and amphibian species and 430 mammal species.
  • However, it is under intense pressure from dam and road building as well as a thriving illegal wildlife trade and climate change.