“It really is an awesome thing to do,” says blood recipient Bonolo Mashilo. She received blood on 22 May due to Anemia. Thanks to South Africa’s dedicated pool of blood donors, Bonolo was able to get the blood she needed to survive.
Bonolo – and thousands of others with life-threatening conditions – joins the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) in encouraging South Africans to become regular blood donors on World Blood Donor Day on Thursday 14 June 2019.
Every year, World Blood Donor Day highlights the need to maintain a stable supply of healthy, safe blood and blood products, while encouraging people to become regular donors. It’s also an opportunity to thank the volunteers whose donations of blood save and enhance the lives of people like Bonolo.
Silungile Mlambo, the SANBS’s Chief Marketing Officer says, “The best gift you can give anyone is the gift of life. We know that South Africans have huge hearts and we call on them to fully embrace the spirit of this year’s World Blood Donor Day theme, ‘Safe blood for all’.
“Out of South Africa’s population of 56-million people, only about 1% donate blood regularly. This blood is used by every person living in this country who needs a transfusion during an operation or for emergencies during childbirth,” Mlambo says.
SANBS applauds its regular donors, who ensure the target of 3 500 units per day is maintained, she adds. “This youth month we are appealing to young, healthy South Africans to make donating blood a lifestyle choice.”
As for Bonolo, she wants to thank every blood donor who made it possible for her to live. Blood donations go way beyond just the person who receives the blood. It’s not just blood, it’s keeping families together.
Visit www.sanbs.org.za or call 0800 11 90 31 to find out where you can donate blood on World Blood Donor Day. Join the on Twitter (@theSANBS), Facebook (@SANBS) and Instagram (@thesanbs).
This is where your blood goes
There is a common 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 Province Blood Transfusion 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 minimmun of three lives.