Blood donors save lives

2015-06-02 06:00
Specialised donation supervisor Cindy Sims with blood donor Faieez Alexander.


Specialised donation supervisor Cindy Sims with blood donor Faieez Alexander. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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“Thirty minutes from you is a lifetime for someone else.”

This is the message that the WP Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS) is spreading to encourage people to donate blood.

At lease 80 000 people in the province are donating blood but the WPBTS wishes to increase that number so that more lives can be saved. Its wish is that it has a constant supply of blood to make sure that it can quickly help those who need it. The organisation is doing everything possible to make sure that everyone is aware of its services.

As Blood Donor Month just started and the world celebrates Blood Donor Day on 14 June, people are encouraged to come out and make a difference. By donating blood people can save those on the verge of dying or help those that need to improve their lives.

The theme for this year is “Thank you for saving my life”. This is meant as a message of appreciation from the people who have been helped.

However, the WPBTS is not waiting for that to make a difference. Throughout Blood Donor Month it will have a blood buzz roadshow – a bus will visit different areas to raise awareness about the importance of donating. It will also be a mobile donating centre.

Dr Greg Bellairs, CEO of the WPBTS, encourages people to donate blood but says that it should be done voluntarily.

“We want people that are willing to save lives and expect nothing from it,” says Bellairs.

Anyone aged between 16 and 65 years can donate blood, as long as they weigh more than 50kg, are in good health and lead a sexually safe lifestyle.

Irene van Schalkwyk, WPBTS spokesperson, says the organisation wants donors that are committed to help.

“We want people to be aware of how important donating blood is. Winter is a difficult time because of winter illnesses but those that can donate must check out where our bus will be and donate. After that we want to make sure that everybody becomes a regular donor,” she says.

As part of celebrating Blood Donor Day Table Mountain will be lit in red at night

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