Members of public urged to donate
Blood stocks in KZN are at a critical level and the KZN Department of Health has joined the South African National Blood Service in urging members of the public and regular donors to donate blood.
The blood service says the situation is desperate, with enough stocks to last just 1.3 days.
People in urgent need of regular blood supply may include mothers giving birth, cancer patients, people involved in road crashes, those who suffer complications during major surgery.
Sifiso Khoza, KZN regional marketing director at the South African National Blood Service, says the organisation is concerned that blood donors have not been donating enough blood lately.
“We currently only have blood that is enough to last 1.3 days. People just do not donate. We are not quite sure why, and it has taken us by surprise. The situation is critical. We are appealing to residents of KwaZulu-Natal – active donors, potential donors and lapsed donors – to help to bolster the regional blood stock.”
Although all blood types are needed, blood group-O is in demand as it is universal and can be transferable to all patients in need.
KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo responded to the blood bank’s desperate call – and he is urging the public to help save lives.
Speaking while donating blood at Umlazi Megacity this week, Dhlomo said: “I am always concerned when I hear that the province has low blood stocks. It always serves as a timely reminder for me to honour my appointment to donate blood. I would wish that all of us who are already regular blood donors can remember and honour the days of our appointments. We are not meeting the required levels, and that is extremely concerning. So we are calling upon other South Africans who are not yet regular blood donors to come forward and assist us.
“Every South African between the ages of 16 and 65; who is in good health and whose blood is considered safe to really come forward and assist. Donating blood is a gift of life. You give someone else a chance to live, and live better,” said the MEC.
Regular blood donor Nozipho Cebekhulu, 25, from Umlazi, who was also donating blood, echoed the MEC’s sentiments. “Donating blood is a gift that no money can buy. If I can save or prolong another person’s life with my blood, I think that’s more than any gift that I can give to another person. Tomorrow, you might need blood and find that there’s not enough. That should be enough motivation for all of us to stand up and go and donate blood,” she said.
**To find out more about donating blood and to locate your nearest SANBS donor centre in KwaZulu-Natal, visit sanbs.org.za or call 0800 11 90 31.