Pledge to save lives by donating blood - 09 June 2024

Department of Health 2024/06/09 - 22:00

June is National Blood Donation Month and is dedicated to encouraging more people to donate blood and ensure a safe and sufficient blood supply to save the lives of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases.

According to the South African National Blood Services (SANBS), less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors. This raises the need to encourage more people to donate blood regularly. The SANBS aims to collect 3000 units of blood per day to ensure a safe and sufficient blood supply in the healthcare system. 

A single unit of blood donated can save a minimum of three lives as blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets, and a donor can give blood as often as every eight weeks. 

Although the current blood stocks at the SANBS for blood group B+ and O+ are above 3.5 days, it is important that the organisation maintain a blood stock level of 5 days for each blood group to ensure a sustained blood availability for patients in need.

Blood donation supports many surgical procedures which include cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, surgical oncology, gynecological surgery and complicated medical conditions such as anemia, cancer, hemophilia, sickle cell disease. 

MEC for Health and Wellness, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko has called on all regular donors and eligible donors to visits their nearest blood donation centre to donate blood and ultimately save lives. 

"Blood donation supports surgical procedures and complicated medical conditions. Therefore, it is important that we encourage everyone eligible to make blood donation a regular undertaking to ensure a sustained blood availability for patients in need of blood transfusion. Many patients who suffer from life-threatening conditions are able to live long and healthy lives after a blood transfusion," said MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko. 

Those who want to donate blood can visit any SANBS blood donation centres open to the public. To find the location nearest to you, click here:  or call the toll-free number: 0800 119 031.


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