GARDEN ROUTE DISTRICT NEWS - With critical blood shortages anticipated by the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS), they are urging all healthy blood donors to do their part.
According to WCBS public relations manager Marike Gevers, the WCBS always aims to have a five-day blood supply and needs to collect 700 units of blood every single day. "We are experiencing a critical shortage in blood, especially in O+ and B+ blood groups," she said.
"Blood cannot be manufactured in a factory, and we solely rely on voluntary blood donors to donate blood to ensure that there is a safe and sufficient blood supply in the Western Cape."
According to the WCBS website, there are only three days' worth of O+ blood type in their storage, and two days' worth of the B+ blood type. "Currently there are approximately 6,2 million people living in the Western Cape and only 1% of them donate, and 75% of the Western Cape's population will require blood or blood products in their lifetime," Gevers pointed out.
While many might be concerned about donating blood during a global pandemic, Gevers urged them not to feel worried. "The safety of staff, blood donors, and blood recipients has always been our main priority and the service has implemented stringent hygiene and precautionary measures since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic."
In addition, according to the service's online fact sheet about Covid-19 it cannot be transmitted through blood, as it is a respiratory virus. With this in mind, Gevers said they are "appealing to all healthy, eligible blood donors from all blood groups to donate blood to help ensure a safe sustainable blood supply in the Western Cape".
With nine blood drives left in Knysna, Sedgefield, and Plettenberg Bay this year, there is still plenty of opportunities for local blood donors to help replenish the blood supplies.
Here are the upcoming blood drives in the areas:
• 17 September – Town hall in Tarentaal Street from 15:00 to 18:00
• 3 December – Town hall in Tarentaal Street from 15:00 to 18:00
• 17 September – Market Square from 11:00 to 17:00
• 26 October – St Peters Anglican Church in Church Street from 14:00 to 18:00
• 19 November – Market Square from 11:00 to 17:00
• 21 September – St George's Hall in Unity Street from 14:00 to 19:00
• 9 October – Knysna High School from 10:00 to 14:00
• 20 October – Knysna Waterfront from 11:00 to 16:00
• 23 November – St George's Hall in Unity Street from 14:00 to 19:00
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