The WP Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS) is a non-profit, independent, health care organisation that works throughout the Western Cape to collect and supply safe, sufficient blood to all communities of the region. It’s one of two Blood Services in South Africa and the only one of its kind in the Western Cape.
“Blood cannot be artificially manufactured, therefore the Service relies completely on voluntary blood donors,” says Ms. Marlize van der Merwe, WPBTS Spokesperson. “There is a need for new blood donors, as the Western Cape has a population of about 6.2 million people, but less than 1.5% donates blood.”
June is National Blood Donor Month, which gives WPBTS an opportunity to recognise and thank its remarkable donors for the role they play in ensuring a safe and sustainable blood supply. The Service will be celebrating this month with various activities, which includes the Blood Buzz mobile donation clinic traveling throughout the Western Cape, as well as blood grouping exhibitions at various shopping malls.
Besides it being National Blood Donor Month, WPBTS will also be celebrating World Blood Donor Day with various other countries on 14 June. This celebration serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, as well as thank donors for their remarkable life-saving gift. The focus of 2017’s World Blood Donor Day is “blood donation during emergencies”. In crises or emergency situations, the immediate response is “What can I do?”. Therefore the secondary message of the campaign is to “Give blood. Give now. Give often.”. This underlines the role every person plays in assisting during an emergency situation, as well as the fact that regular blood donation is important.
Blood donation is easy! Any person older than 16 years, weighing more than 50kg and who leads a healthy, safe lifestyle can donate blood. Donors must remember to eat three to four hours before donating blood and increase their fluid intake before, during and after blood donation.
Details for the permanent donation clinics are as follows:
- 22 Long Street, Cape Town CBD, open Mondays to Fridays from 08:30 to 16:30.
- N1 City Mall, Goodwood, open Mondays to Fridays from 10:00 to 18:00; Saturdays from 09:00 to 15:00 and Sundays and Public Holidays from 09:00 to 12:00.
- Blue Route Mall, Tokai, open Mondays to Fridays from 10:00 to 18:00; Saturdays from 09:00 to 15:00 and Sundays and Public Holidays from 09:00 to 12:00
Alternative clinics can be viewed at www.wpblood.org.za.
While donors from all blood groups and communities are important, there is a particular need for donors with blood types O to donate regularly as stocks of these are more vulnerable to shortfalls. There is also a need for more black African people to become blood donors to reflect the ethnic diversity of patients.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wpblood.org.za. Like us on Facebook (WP Blood) or follow us on Twitter (@WPBlood) and/ or Instagram (WP_Blood) for interesting facts and blood stock updates.