By Marike Gevers

In February, we are focussing on reminding people about the importance of blood donation. We need all blood types to donate blood, and we remind you that it is never too late to start donating blood.

Every person belongs to 1 of 8 blood groups. To read more about the different blood groups please click here. The blood type that is most in need is the one that we have the least amount of in stock. It is therefore, important to collect blood donations from all types of blood groups.

We know that sometimes life just ‘happens’. One moment you still have your blood donation calendar reminder on your phone, and the next, you are busy chauffeuring the kids between extra-murals whilst trying to manage work pressures and finding easy salad recipes as load shedding is a reality.

The need for blood and blood products increases annually, and to meet the province’s demand, it is important that collection targets are met. Each day we need to collect 700 units of blood! Ideally, we want 1-2% of the Western Cape population to become active blood donors. An active blood donor is classified as someone who donates blood once a year, even though you can donate 6 times a year. At the moment, only 0.92% of the population are active blood donors, yet 75% of the population will still require blood or blood products in their lifetime.

You can help us create awareness by educating others. Share your story as a committed blood donor and remind your friends and family who can donate blood.

You should be able to donate blood if:

  • you are between the ages of 16 and 75,
  • weigh 50kg or more,
  • are in good general health,
  • and lead a safe sexual lifestyle.

And, if you are one of the blood donors who find that life just ran away with you, remember our patients still need you, and it is really never too late to donate.

Blood donation only takes 30 minutes of your time, you can donate blood every 56 days and you get to save up to 3 lives with 1 donation. So find your closest blood donation clinic and be the type that saves lives regularly.