The SANBS has called on blood donors to roll up their sleeves and save lives.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the blood service is experiencing a low turnout at mobile blood drives and donor centres.
This, in turn, has resulted in an insufficient supply of blood in hospitals across the country.
“While we continue to contend with declining blood stocks, patient demand has not slowed down,” said Dr Karin van den Berg, medical director of the SANBS.
“Surgeries and the treatment of illnesses require a consistent supply of much-needed blood products. The situation is critical and could become dire if we fail to collect enough group O blood.”
As this type of blood can be donated to anyone, donors with O-positive and O-negative blood can make the biggest immediate difference.
“Our donors have always been incredibly generous during times of struggle, and we need their help to ensure that our blood supply stabilises once more,” said Van den Berg.
“One unit of blood can give recipients a second chance to enjoy life with their loved ones.”
In spite of the big need, less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors.
Members of the public are therefore called upon to rally behind this mission to help save thousands of lives.
- In order to become a blood donor, people must: be between the ages of 16 and 75 years; ) weigh 50 kg or more;) lead a healthy lifestyle; ) consider their blood safe for transfusion to a patient; and) commit to donating blood regularly.
Anyone willing to donate blood can visit sanbs.org.za or dial 080-011-9031.
Members of the public can show their support by hosting a blood drive or making venues available for blood drives.