The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) said it is running critically low in blood stocks and has only 2.2 days worth of blood supply left in its banks nationally and 1.1 days in the flood-ravaged province of KwaZulu-Natal.
This it says, is dire, and due partly to the KwaZulu-Natal floods, which have claimed over 448 lives.
The province was battered by torrential downpours leaving a trail of destruction which is estimated to cost billions of rands to get the province back on its feet.
President Cyril Ramaphosa also declared a national state of disaster following the catastrophic floods in KZN.
Speaking to The Citizen, SANBS spokesperson Khensani Mahlangu said while KZN has had a big impact on stocks because of the floods, the province is one of their major collection areas in the country.
Mahlangu said there is only 1.1 days’ worth of blood left in the province.
“That will obviously impact our blood shortages. But we’ve been struggling since about October last year. We really haven’t reached five days in all these months that have passed. So, it’s really been a struggle for the past couple of months and this situation just compounds it.”
Mahlangu has appealed to South Africans to urgently donate blood, especially in KZN to replenish their critically low levels of blood stocks.
“It would be the prize for us just to have them go donate their blood there in case there are any emergencies especially in that area because the stocks would be readily available.”
Mahlangu said the SANBS is running a campaign on social media urging everyone to donate blood.
“We have so many holidays in April. We started last Friday and we are running through to 2 May just encouraging people to donate blood, keep the blood stocks at a safe level, we hope to reach five days and we can only do it with their help. So, we are asking them to spend twenty minutes of their day to please visit a donor centre or mobile blood drive to give a unit of blood.”
Mahlangu says the SANBS require all blood types to urgently donate blood.