More Irish people urged to donate blood as international #MissingType campaign launched

There has been an almost 30% drop in the number of people giving blood worldwide

More Irish people urged to donate blood as international #MissingType campaign launched

The Giant's Causeway missing the letters A, B and O, as the Missing Type campaign aims to encourage people to become blood donors. Image: NHS Blood and Transplant / PA Wire/Press Association Images

More Irish people are being urged to donate blood, as blood services from around the world launch a new awareness campaign.

There has been an almost 30% drop in the number of men and women donating blood worldwide, according to the a survey by international blood services.

In Ireland, there has been a 21% decrease in donors coming forward to give blood.

A new initiative is been launched today in a bid to attract 8,000 new donors here by the end of the year.

The #MissingType campaign will see the As, Bs and Os - the letters of the main blood groups - 'disappearing' at iconic locations across the world, including Croke Park and the Wild Atlantic Way here in Ireland.

Different companies and public organisations have also been participating in the campaign across social media.

According to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS), a number of barriers are impacting people's willingness and ability to give blood. They include increased urbanisation and the prevalence of wider and 'more exotic' travel.

Chief Executive the IBTS, Andy Kelly, spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the campaign and their call for more donors.

He explained: "We want people to come forward with any blood type in those groups, and donate blood. Not necessarily today, but to commit to becoming a donor over the next few months."