Selfless South Africans step up to the plate to help save lives on World Blood Donor Day
South Africans answered the call to do “country duty” by donating blood in their droves on World Blood Donor Day, Thursday 14 June 2018 – which saw a record haul of 5 413 people flocking to local blood drives or donor centres.
Significantly, the tally for the entire week (21 874 people) included 6 763 new, potential or lapsed donors joining the crusade to save lives – a third of the total number.
“With more than 17 600 successful donations, and with each unit being used for up to three procedures, this means that last week alone, South Africans helped us to potentially save more than 52 000 lives,” says an ecstatic Silungile Mlambo, the chief marketing officer of the South African National Blood Service (SANBS).
The SANBS joined the global community on 14 June, when World Blood Donor Day was celebrated with the theme: “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life”. Every year, this event encourages healthy people to donate blood by highlighting the need to maintain a stable supply of blood and blood products.
“We are over the moon that our amazing cohort of regular volunteers, plus an influx of new donors and those who hadn’t donated in a long time, came to donate in their thousands. This led to us exceeding our donation target by a massive 153%,” Mlambo says.
“It’s the most that has been ‘bled’ in South Africa on World Blood Donor Day since 2012, which gives us a huge boost in our mission to save and enhance lives.”
She adds that the donations for the week exceeded last year’s tally by almost 2 000 – including a marked increase from race and age groups that have previously been under-represented when it comes to blood donation.
“We are especially encouraged by the fact that, during Youth Month, 34% of the blood donated last week came from people under the age of 30,” Mlambo says.
The surge in donations last week coincided with another international blood donation initiative – the #MissingType campaign. Companies and individuals were asked to remove the letters A, B and O (symbolising the blood types with the same letters) from their logos and social media handles for a week to raise awareness of the need for new blood donors.
Organisations across the country that took part in the inventive #MissingType campaign included Wimpy, OUTsurance, Netcare and many others. Celebrities and blood donation champions such as ProVerb, Miss South Africa Tamaryn Green, Chris Forrest, Dr Sandile Kubheka, Mzokoloko Gumede and Christopher Jaftha also added their voices to the campaign.
Visit www.sanbs.org.za or call 0800 11 90 31 to find out where your nearest blood donor centre is. Join the conversation on Twitter (@theSANBS), Facebook (@SANBS) and Instagram (@thesanbs).
Issued by Flow Communications on behalf of the South African National Blood Service. For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Ayanda Siswana on firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 440 4841.