By Nadia Turner

And just like that, 2022 is a wrap (well, almost). Its been a very busy year post-Covid-19 lockdowns, and despite a few setbacks, the Western Cape Blood Service has had many highlights worth celebrating.

Covid-19 had a huge effect on our donor base, but this year we have worked hard to bring our active donor base back up to 67 394 from 60 932 a drop that occurred during the pandemic. In 2021 we introduced sourced plasma collection at our fixed blood donation centres and increased our plasma collection target for 2022 to 4 800. With a couple of weeks remaining, our plasma collection target is at 76% for the year. Whole blood collections remain critical to ensure a sustainable blood supply to the Western Cape. Our collections thus far for 2022 are standing at 136 477. We are very hopeful that we will reach our collection target for the year with the support of our amazing blood donors.

This year we hosted two very successful 1-day, 10-malls, 1000-units of blood campaigns and managed to achieve our target at both with the support of our donors and media partners. It is always amazing to see how our blood donors help us to achieve our goals and keep the blood stocks afloat when we need it most.

A great example of this occurred in May this year when blood stocks reached an ultimate low and we fought to avoid day zero. The Western Cape donors, together with the support of the Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, and the Western Cape Government and other organisations, rallied to make sure this didn’t happen.

2022 saw us return to tertiary institutions such as UCT, Varsity College, UWC and Maties to name a few. These institutions once again opened their doors to us and we were able to have very successful blood donation clinics and encourage the young adults of our province to donate blood. We also welcomed our peer promoters from high schools around the Western Cape back to our onsite peer promoter training for the first time since 2019. It is always so rewarding to share with them the journey of blood from the blood donation clinics to the final blood product ready to be delivered to patients.
One of the biggest highlights of 2022 was moving into our brand-new premises at 1 Oude Molen Road, Ndabeni after 32 years at Old Mill Road. We are slowly settling in and look forward to many successful years in our new home.

And finally, no year would be a success without our remarkable blood donors who continue to give of themselves and ensure a safe and sustainable blood supply for all communities in the Western Cape. Without you, none of the above would be possible, so thank you, you are truly remarkable.