WHILE the Western Cape battles a severe prolonged drought, KwaZulu-Natal is facing a scarcity of a different kind, a critical lack of blood. Blood supply in South Africa’s second-most populous province is at just 1.8 days of Group O stock, according to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS).The blood service is calling on donors and residents in the province to come forward to donate blood urgently, to stop cancer sufferers, people in life-threatening situations and anyone else who needs or relies on blood transfusions in KwaZulu-Natal being at risk.“The blood stock in KZN is dangerously low, less than 200 units of O blood is available in the province. “A healthy blood stock is 500 units of O blood a day. We are appealing to residents of KwaZulu-Natal, active donors, lapsed donors and potential donors to stand together right now to bolster the regional blood stock, and we thank them in advance, for pulling together,” says Silungile Mlambo, SANBS National Marketing Manager.Mlambo says blood is critical for cancer patients and women in childbirth who constitute by far the greatest groups of people requiring blood transfusions.“So many people in life-threatening situations require blood. It’s what saves a haemorrhaging mother’s life so that she can raise and love the baby she has just brought into the world. “It’s what saves someone suffering complications during major surgery. It’s what helps cancer patients endure and survive treatment.“It is not just blood. It’s saving people’s lives through a simple and easy donation,” says Mlambo.The SANBS is urgently appealing to KZN residents to step forward and donate blood immediately.“More than that, however, the SANBS appeals to residents of KwaZulu-Natal to become regular donors by donating blood only four times a year. We can easily avoid situations such as the one in which we find ourselves in now,” says Mlambo. To find out more about donating blood and to locate your nearest SANBS donor centre in KZN, visit sanbs.org.za or call 0800 11 90 31. - Supplied.