KZN blood crisis looms as stocks down to 1,7 days

2016-06-03 08:22

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Pietermaritzburg - The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is approaching crisis levels with only 1,7 days of blood left for KwaZulu-Natal.

With 21% of blood donors being pupils and students and exams fast approaching, the SANBS has said they are bracing themselves for “crisis mode”.

KZN SANBS marketing head Charles Maharaj said the province was down to just 1,7 days stock of blood and appealed to the public to donate blood.

The minimum stock level for blood is supposed to be five days.

With 10,6 million people in KZN, only 2,5 million are potential donors, while many may not donate due to illnesses or because they are either too young or too old.

Maharaj said pupils and students, who the SANBS largely depended on, had not been able to donate as regularly as they were busy with exams and other regular donors were stuck in the midst of the flu season.

“It is getting bad, and it is going to get worse,” he said.

A press statement sent out by SANBS said that as the country approached winter, they expected blood stocks to fall well below the level required for meeting the daily demand.

“To ensure that a sufficient supply of blood remains available for recipients, SANBS must collect 3 000 units of blood every day. Each unit of blood could save three lives,” said the statement.

“Nationally, teenagers aged 16 to 19 constitute 21% of SANBS’ total active donor base which is currently over 430 000.

SANBS communications manager Vanessa Raju urged all donors to honour their donation schedule and encourage their friends, family and colleagues to join them and become regular donors if they meet the basic requirements, by contacting their nearest donor centres or by visiting www.sanbs.org

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  kwazulu-natal  |  blood

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