Give the gift of life - donate blood

2015-07-08 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

Nelson Mandela Day is a philanthropic occasion that challenges people the world over.

PHOTO: supplied Nelson Mandela Day is a philanthropic occasion that challenges people the world over.

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IN support of Nelson Mandela Day on 18 July, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) appeals to all to honour Mandela’s legacy and give the gift of life – blood.

Nelson Mandela Day is a philanthropic occasion that challenges people the world over and reminds them that it is “time to serve”, not just on 18 July. This would instil in blood donors a culture of making a difference throughout the year by donating blood regularly.

Although SANBS currently collects over one million units of blood annually at its 87 fixed donor centres and through daily blood drives, managed by 100 mobile teams, there are instances when it falls short of the 3 000 units of blood required to meet daily demand and this greatly impacts on the lives of patients. Traditionally blood reserves are low in July and since it is Nelson Mandela Day we would like to inspire the public to choose blood donations as their continued act of kindness.

“There is no better way to honour the life and spirit of a man who epitomised the precious value of life than to donate blood and save the lives of accident victims, mothers in labour, cancer patients and thousands others,” Vanessa Raju, national communications manager, SANBS. Each unit of blood is separated into red blood cells, platelets and plasma and depending on medical needs, these products are estimated to benefit three patients daily. Patience Thusi is a primary-school teacher whose life was saved because of a blood transfusion. Thusi has aplastic anaemia and receives regular blood transfusions to replenish her bloodstream which is compromised due to consistent heavy bleeding.

“I am always mindful of the gift of blood that circulates through my body … without the blood and platelets I would be gone by now,” says Thusi.

Blood donors are in the privileged position to give somebody a second chance at life and this Mandela Month SANBS encourages South Africans to pump up their efforts and bleed for a purpose.

People can donate on the first Friday of every month at the Amanzimtoti Library Activities Room. - Supplied

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