Roll up your sleeves to be somebody’s hero

2017-04-12 06:02

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is appealing to the public to save lives by donating blood at branches countrywide.

The plea comes in the wake of South Africa’s blood supply being desperately low.

“Our national blood supply is currently at just 1,6 days. The Group O stock has just over 1 500 units of blood available around the country. The situation is critical. We need South Africans – active donors, lapsed donors and potential donors – to stand together right now to bolster the national blood supply,” says Silungile Mlambo, national marketing manager for the SANBS.

Mlambo says the Easter long weekend, when many South Africans drive long distances and road accidents increase, will certainly put additional pressure on the national blood supply. She says that incidents of trauma make up only a fraction of the demand for blood.

“While we need sufficient blood stock to cope with periods such as the Easter weekend, by far the greatest proportion of blood is required in other situations, such as in childbirth and for cancer patients. So many people in life-threatening situations require blood. It is what saves a hemorrhaging mother’s life, so that she can raise and love the baby she has just brought into the world. It is what saves someone suffering complications during major surgery. It is what helps a cancer patient endure and survive treatment. And that’s the point: It’s not just blood, it’s saving people’s lives, through a simple, easy donation,” says Mlambo.

“By donating blood only four times a year, we can easily avoid situations such as the one in which we find ourselves.”

To find out more and to locate your nearest SANBS donor centre, visit sanbs.org.za or dial 0800-119-031.

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