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Sunday, May 06, 2001, updated at 11:39(GMT+8)

China Marks World Red Cross Day

China's Red Cross organizations held celebrations Saturday to mark the World Red Cross Day, which falls on May 8 every year.

The celebration (May 5-7), co-sponsored by the China Red Cross Society and the Beijing's Red Cross Society, calls for people to " donate marrow, care for life and show the power of humanity."

Peng Peiyun, president of the China Red Cross and also vice- chairwoman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, was present at the opening ceremony.

A senior official from the China Red Cross said the local Red Cross organizations vow to facilitate the building of "China Marrow Pool," and call for people to participate in China's humanitarian cause and the worldwide Red Cross campaign.

According to experts, a marrow transplant can efficiently cure a number of blood diseases like Thalassemia and Leukemia.

Official statistics show that there is a total of over 4 million people each year in China needing marrow transplants. The number of Leukemia sufferers in China increases by 40,000 people every year, among which 50 percent are children. As many as 36,400 people out of every 1 billion die of Leukemia alone annually.

Currently, the country's marrow pool collects less than 30,000 copies of marrow, while the total amount in the United States, Europe and Taiwan is 4.5 million, 3.7 million and 210,000, respectively.

During the three-day-long celebrations, the organizers will host exhibitions on emergency aid, increase blood donations and offer health consultation services for the participants.

Officials from Beijing's Red Cross Society said one out of every 150 Beijing citizens will be trained to become an "Emergency Treatment Professional" by the end of 2004.

Beijing, the heart of China, has so far trained 50,000 emergency treatment professionals.

The first World Red Cross Day, the full name of which dubbed as "World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day," was first celebrated on May 8, 1948.

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China's Red Cross organizations held celebrations Saturday to mark the World Red Cross Day, which falls on May 8 every year.

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