South African National Blood Service’s blood shortage woes continue

Of the 54 million South African population, only 480 000 people – which is less than one per cent of the population – are active donors.

Alarming shortages in blood supply have become increasingly evident for the South African National Blood Service (Sanbs) as it faces a constant battle to deliver the life-saving resource to those who need it most.

“We never have enough,” Sifiso Khoza, spokesperson for the Sanbs said. “We need 3 000 units of blood every single day of the year and, unfortunately, we hardly ever meet that target.”

Khoza added that the festive season is traditionally a difficult time for the Sanbs as the organisation faces an increased demand to treat patients, including those who are terminally ill as well as those who have experienced trauma incidents.

“Of the 54 million South African population, we’ve only got 480 000 donors, which is less than 1 per cent of the population that are active donors. However, regarding the issue of accidents, only 4 per cent of all the blood that we collect actually goes towards these – which is evidently very minute.

“It is only possible to meet the demand with the help of regular and committed blood donors. Blood donors are extraordinary South Africans. They are the reason that healthcare workers in hospitals across the country can do their challenging jobs with more ease. We absolutely can’t do without this special type of volunteers.”

Are you a regular blood donor or beneficiary with an inspirational story to tell? Share your story by posting on the City Buzz Facebook page

Tshepiso Mametela

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