World donor day concept with hand holding paper red drop on red background, top view. copy space
The SANBS calls on donors to during the holiday season remain committed to giving the gift of life – to donate blood and blood platelets to save several lives. The blood service laments a severe decrease of stock in its reserve, adding that a further decrease is posing a risk to patients and the efforts to save lives.
Donations can be done at any branch countrywide, and holidaymakers can even donate while away from home.
According to the SANBS, less than 1% of South Africans are active blood donors.
“The SANBS has seen a steady decline in blood donations, with blood stocks currently sitting at only 1.8 days’ supply, pushing the available blood to critically low levels across the country. This blood shortage may affect the lives of several individuals reliant on blood transfusions,” said Thandi Mosupye, the SANBS’ senior communication manager.
She said the strain on the blood supply affects patients relying on blood transfusion and undermines the preparedness to manage unforeseen emergencies, creating an alarming ripple effect at health care facilities.
“The demand for blood remains constant, yet our current supply falls short of meeting this ongoing need. Our donation decline is due to the closures of workplaces and schools as well as tertiary institutions,” said Mosupye. She warned that a continued decline also affects the ability to meet the needs of patients.
“Donating blood is a safe process that takes only 30 minutes. The SANBS urges all eligible and healthy individuals to visit their nearest donation site and contribute to this life-saving cause. Every donation matters and holds the power to save lives, and each contribution is a lifeline to someone desperately in need,” said Mosupye.
The blood service has implemented a new digital donor questionnaire, aimed at streamlining the donor registration process. Launched on 7 November, the digital channel aims at enhancing the donor experience.
To donate blood using the new digital donor questionnaire and register on the new system for the first time, a copy of your Identity document (ID) must be presented, you must be between the ages of 16 and 75 years, weigh more than 50 kg, and be in good health.
If you meet these requirements, find your nearest donation site by visiting the donor centre map on the SANBS’ website or contact 0800-11-9031 or follow the SANBS on its official social media platforms: X (@theSANBS); Facebook (@SANBS); and Instagram (@thesanbs).