Give the gift of life, give blood

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pretoria - KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, has made a compelling appeal to South Africans to join the community of blood donors.

"Imagine for just two seconds, that your life hangs in the balance and the only people that can save you from certain death are complete strangers.

"Instead of being a victim of a rare blood disorder or the survivor of a near death experience, I choose to be a living testimony of the need for blood donors. Together, we can save lives, one pint at a time," said Dhlomo during his visit to Megacity's blood donation center.

The MEC went to Megacity to donate blood and make a call to all persons between the ages of 16 and 65 years, youth in particular, to come forward and give the gift of life in the spirit of the Nelson Mandela Day.

"Our country is currently faced with an acute shortage of blood stock and it is the duty of every South African to come forward and donate blood so that people do not die needlessly," Dhlomo said.

"The greatest gift we can give to the country is to ensure that we donate a pint of ourselves and we must do this in observance of the Nelson Mandela International Day, where we are all called upon to give a little for the benefit of society."

In the past week, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) reported that the country has blood stocks to last only two days. They called on all persons between the ages of 16 to 65 years to make a donation.

The need for blood, platelets, and plasma is constant, but only a few people donate blood. At the same time, there is a large group of the population requiring more donated blood for their own health, quickly using much of the supply.

"My duty today is to educate, engage and encourage individuals and communities to donate blood. By connecting donors to the lives they save, we can save more lives one pint at time. Many lives, including mine, are in the hands of blood donors. Be one today!" said Dhlomo.