On 14 June, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) celebrated the globally recognised World Blood Donor Day in style.
One of the highlights of the celebrations at the SANBS Headquarters, included a song launch and spectacular performance featuring South African pop icons, Vusi Nova and Amanda Black. The new single, titled Gaz’lam, celebrates blood donation in a unique and inspiring way.
“When I was asked to be a part of this campaign I was honoured because it is a passion point I have always strongly believed in and I agreed to take part in it because of the value it adds in so many people’s lives. If you think about it, without SANBS many people would not be around to celebrate life with their loved ones. I also have my personal story on how a very dear friend of mine needed blood following a car accident so I am really glad that I can play my part in raising awareness,” said Vusi Nova.
Gaz’lam, speaks to the importance of blood donation and how citizens can be heroes of change through giving the gift of life.
“The song is indeed a special tribute to patients and emphasises the need for more people to donate blood. By using music the message is amplified in a special way that is much more relatable to our audience,” he adds.
Co-vocalist Amanda Black says. “I am particularly thrilled and happy about the fact that I am using my voice to get people talking about real issues in our country. Issues that affect us across the racial and social divide. The shortage of blood is a serious concern and we should all do something about it. I say, why not sing along whilst we do that?”
The event brought together, under one roof, some of SANBS’ regular donors, ambassadors, media partners and blood recipients. These recipients, who received blood for conditions ranging from chronic illness and childbirth to car accidents and cancer, shared their testimonials of how they benefited from blood donation.
Speaking during the proceedings was SANBS Chief Marketing Officer, Silungile Mlambo, who highlighted that the national blood reserves are under constant pressure due to the fact that less than 1% of the population donates regularly. For sufficient supply, they need to have at least 5 days group O blood stock available and this can only be done if it becomes part of people’s lifestyles.
“Days like World Blood Donor Day remind us of the important role blood plays in our lives and we will continue to raise awareness about the need for South Africans to give the gift of life; thereby making a tangible difference to society”
She also touched on the reasoning behind using a song as way to appeal to young blood donors who are critical to ensure a sustainable South African future.
“To attract more young people who otherwise would not pay attention to a cause such as this, we thought it best to bring on board young and inspirational musicians who also shared their stories through the universal language of music. Having Amanda and Vusi as part of the SANBS family has truly captured and revealed the energy of our incredible brand,” concluded Mlambo.
Your blood saves lives.
SANBS CEO, Dr.Jonathan Louw, says, “Less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors and more needs to be done to ensure we meet the demand for blood in our country.
A unit of blood only lasts 42 days after donation and, for this reason, it is important for blood donors to donate regularly.
“Donors can give blood as often as every eight weeks and we want to encourage South Africans to do more and more of this. Every unit of blood can save a minimum of three lives as blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets,” he concludes.
SANBS aims to collect 3000 units of blood per day to ensure a safe and sufficient blood supply in the health care system.