IT’S that time of the year again. Festive decorations of all colours, shapes and sizes have crept into shopping malls, the workplace and homes.
This period is an occasion for people to remind their loved ones of how special they are and sharing gifts is an expression of that love.
This year the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is encouraging people to give an unusual and lifesaving gift to a stranger – blood.
During the festive season many people travel across the country by road to visit family members or just to take a break from the bustle of the big cities and spend time at the beach.
The increased volume of vehicles on major roadways increases the probability of collisions which are often fatal.
Over 1 300 children and adults were killed in the 1 118 accidents reported from last year’s festive season – a 0.6% drop from 2013.
“While we are pleased that the number of fatalities from road accidents is dropping, the number of lives that are lost in a time when families should be celebrating life concerns us,” said SANBS chief marketing officer Thapelo Mokoena.
Every day the blood service endeavours to collect about 3 000 units of blood from temporary and fixed collection facilities in eight provinces to meet the need for the lifesaving resource.
Often, accident victims are in need of just one unit of blood that could save their lives and SANBS encourages South Africans to join that network of life-givers.
“SANBS is honoured to be an integral part of a community of thousands of donors who sacrifice their time to give blood and afford a stranger a second chance to live to witness another Christmas. We encourage those who have not considered donations as a gift to take the first step and visit their nearest donor centre this festive season because they are angels that we cannot do without,” says Mokoena.
If you have any queries or concerns about donating blood, people are encouraged to visit one of the donation centres or to call our toll-free helpline on 0800 11 9031.
Donors can also engage with us through the SANBS website and social media pages.