Blood Donor Month, June, The Bulletin, Secunda

In their celebration of this event, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) want to acknowledge the ordinary South Africans who selflessly give the gift of life to strangers.
“South Africa is well acquainted with heroes. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Nkosi Johnson, Natalie du Toit – they are widely feted and acknowledged. But there are scores of other unacknowledged heroes in South Africa, the thousands of ordinary men and women who regularly donate blood, selflessly and without expectation of a reward or recognition,” says Silungile Mlambo, national marketing manager for the SANBS.
“Blood Donor Month, and World Blood Donor Day, which is celebrated globally on 14 June, is for them. It gives us the opportunity to acknowledge their gift and to say thank you.
“Thank you for saving the life of that mother, thank you for saving the life of that car accident victim, thank you for saving the life of that premature baby.
“Thank you for giving them a lifetime of memories. Your selflessness is not unrecognised, nor will it ever be forgotten.”
Mlambo says the theme for World Blood Donor Day 2017 is blood donation in emergencies.
While the global campaign is aimed at helping people in emergency situations, such as natural disasters and trauma situations, Mlambo says incidents of trauma make up only a fraction of the demand for blood in South Africa.
“By far the greatest proportion of blood is required in other situations, such as in childbirth and for cancer patients.
“In South Africa blood shortages occur most often during school holidays and they are predominantly caused by lower collections of blood as a result of schools and universities closing and the demand staying consistent,” says Mlambo.