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The 2011 Census results indicated that there are almost six million people living within the Western Cape.  However, less than 1.5% of the population in the Western Cape are blood donors.

This is a worrying statistic for the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS).  “As the population in the Western Cape is ever increasing and access to medical care is becoming easier, we need more blood donors to fulfill the demand for safe blood and blood products”, says Marlize van der Merwe, WPBTS Corporate Public Relations Officer. 

The Service needs the help of its regular blood donors to recruit new blood donors.  Therefore the “Bring-A-Buddy” Campaign has been launched.  This campaign will take place during the month of September throughout the Western Cape of blood donation clinics.  Regular blood donors are encouraged to bring a friend, family member or colleague to donate blood with them.  “A recent poll we conducted on our website indicated that most people started donating blood after being inspired or referred by a friend,” says van der Merwe.

Blood donation takes 20 to 30 minutes of your time every 56 days.  It requires you to be between the age of 16 and 65, weigh over 50kgs, be in good general health and lead a safe sexual lifestyle.  It does not cause you any bodily harm, since only 475ml’s of blood is taken, which is replaced within 24 hours.

For more information, SMS “Blood” to 33507 and WPBTS will call you back with information on where to donate.  Donors can also call (021) 507 6300, e-mail info@wpbts.org.za or visit www.wpblood.org.za.  Like us on Facebook (WP Blood) or follow us on Twitter (@WPBlood) for interesting facts and blood stock updates.