South Africa’s blood stocks healthy for Easter holidays

South Africans heard the South African National Blood Service’s plea for #NewBlood – and they more than answered the call.

A total of 5 473 units of blood were collected yesterday (Human Rights Day), far outstripping the 4 500 units targeted.

Yesterday’s blood haul ensures that South Africa has enough stock of blood for the Easter holidays.

“Thank you for the #NewBlood, South Africa. Thank you for lending us your hand. Thanks to you we have started turning things around,” says a delighted Silungile Mlambo, Chief Marketing Officer for the SANBS.

Mlambo says close on 7 000 people turned up at donor centres to donate on Wednesday, with just under 5 500 units being collected.

“We are completely overwhelmed by the turnout. The #NewBlood we collected yesterday will help us ensure that no lives are placed at risk this Easter. There will be enough blood for babies born prematurely over the Easter holidays. There will be enough blood for accident victims. The person battling cancer will not have to wait for blood. And it is all thanks to South Africans, who showed by their actions that they want to be the agents of change that President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged us to be,” she says.

Mlambo urged those who had turned out yesterday, as well as other South Africans, to continue to donate blood regularly.

“Currently less than 1% of South Africans – about 400 000 – donate blood even though it demands little more than giving up 30 minutes about four times a year. We hope that everyone who donated yesterday and all other eligible donors will donate regularly and help us save lives,” she says.

Adds Mlambo: “The beauty of blood donation is that virtually anyone can do it. You don’t need to have money or live in a fancy house or have a graduate degree. If you’re over 16 years old, weigh over 50kg and practice a safe lifestyle, you can be a blood donor. And by giving blood you can save a minimum of three lives.”

Visit www.sanbs.org.za or call 0800 11 90 31 to find out where you can donate.