SA blood service celebrates 60th birthday

2014-10-27 00:00

THE South African National Blood Service (SANBS) celebrated their 60th birthday as well as the milestones of several donors on Friday night.

Donors along with family and friends gathered at the Golden Horse Casino for a night of celebration.

SANBS national chairperson Alex Christians called for people to keep on donating. “We are entering the silly season where there are a lot of accidents and emergency surgeries, and we appeal for donors, mainly with O negative blood as it is a universal match to other blood types.”

According to Christians, the Pietermaritzburg branch has a 2,7 day stock of blood, and are looking for volunteers and donors alike to help raise the stock to at least five days.

National Health Laboratory Service and SANBS provincial co-ordinator Nonhle Mbambo also attended the celebration and said the event was one of the greatest milestones in SANBS history.

“Without these people, we wouldn’t be saving lives. One unit of blood saves three lives and for babies, it’s more.

“To donate blood is to be a selfless ambassador, because you don’t know when you or your family will need blood,” said Mbambo.

Also attending the celebration was 666-time donor Raymond du Toit. The 73-year-old donor said he had been given a special medical clearance to donate and had already been cleared to donate in 2015. Du Toit said he first donated blood at the age of 14, when an ill friend desperately needed a blood transfusion.

Named the Hayfields Vampire by the SANBS community, Du Toit said he was at the event to support the cause.

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