Each year, millions of South Africans need blood transfusions in order to lead healthy lives. If it weren’t for voluntary blood donations, who knows what people would have to do to get blood when they needed it? Who knows how many people would have access to safe blood when they needed it?
This year, World Blood Donor Day finds us facing a unique set of circumstances not seen in many years. Even amidst a pandemic, our annual observance has in no way lost its significance and importance. With hordes of people receiving Coronavirus treatment in hospitals, the need for blood has not slowed down.
The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) celebrates this annual observation which focuses on the contributions of selfless blood donors who contribute towards the health and wellbeing of others. Moreover, these commemorations are an opportunity to call on more people to take up the cause and become life-savers by volunteering to donate blood regularly.
Once again, the SANBS commits to celebrating and extending heartfelt gratitude towards all of our blood donors. “The 14th of June is a day that is particularly close to our hearts. We work tirelessly each year to ensure that safe and affordable blood products are available to our fellow countrymen and we cannot negate the monumental role played by all our committed donors. We thank donors for their selfless acts, and so do the recipients of their blood,” said SANBS Chief Marketing Officer, Silungile Mlambo, with great appreciation.
It is worth noting that the involvement and support of blood donors is most effective when individuals commit to donating regularly. The task of getting donors to commit regularly is a great challenge and we hope that through hearing and reading shared stories from people whose lives have been saved by blood transfusions, people are motivated to adopt regular blood donation.
To find out more about where you can donate blood, visit sanbs.org.za or call 0800 11 90 31. Connect with us on Twitter (@theSANBS), Facebook (@SANBS) and Instagram (@thesanbs). Don’t let South Africa run out of safe blood. Donate today.
This is where your blood goes
There is a misconception that most of the blood donated in South Africa goes to accident victims. This is not the case. Here is a rough breakdown from the SANBS of where the blood it collects is used:
28% is used to treat cancer and aplastic anaemia
27% is used during childbirth
21% is used for scheduled surgery
10% is used for paediatric care
6% goes to laboratories
6% is used for orthopaedic care
4% is used for accident or trauma victims
About the National Blood Donor Day
Every year on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event, established in 2004, serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood. World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on the day of birthday anniversary of Karl Landsteiner on 14 June 1868. World Blood Donor Day celebrations bring a precious opportunity to celebrate donors on a national and global level, as well as, to commemorate the birthday of Karl Landsteiner (a great scientist who won the Nobel Prize for his great discovery of the ABO blood group system).
About the SANBS
The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is an independent non-profit organization, and one of the leaders in the discipline of blood transfusion. SANBS operates in eight out of nine provinces in South Africa (with the exception of the Western Cape, which is serviced by the Western Cape Blood Service). It also provides crucial support to countries in the SADC region.
SANBS supplies over one million blood products annually and is rated among the top blood services in the world. This pedigree comes, as a result of world-class testing and collection protocols which ensure that the blood which is transfused is always of top quality.
The blood is processed into its constituent components; red blood cells, plasma and platelets therefore in principle a single blood donation can save a minimum of three lives.