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Blood Service hosts a countrywide drive to celebrate Human Rights Day

SANBS aimed to collect 3 000 litres of blood daily to ensure the nation has adequate reserves.

The need for blood can never be understated.

Also read: The SANBS visits Crawford Ruimsig

Lerato Mmatladi and Skhumbuzo Khoza, volunteers at SANBS. Photo: Chanté Bolton.
Tarryn French with nurse Lifuno Tshieasa. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.
Enzo Snyman and Linda Cartwright, Donor Committee Members. Photo: Nicola Jansen van Vuuren.

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) held a far-reaching drive to gather as many pints of red gold as possible, Tuesday, March 21. The comfortable black leather recliners welcomed donors for extended hours with nurses working overtime to accommodate those wishing to help their fellow South Africans. Donors may give blood once every 56 days and those that fell within that window flocked to one of these three sites:

Florida Donor Centre, 31 Beacon Road, Florida North
Open from 9:00, blood donors from across the West Rand spectrum lined up one by one to roll up their sleeves. While sitting through the lengthier process of donating platelets, Wendy Liversage shared her reasons for donating, saying, “Because it saves lives and helps people get a second chance.”
Among the youngest donors was 17-year-old Bronwyne Rowe who stated that her school encourage their learners to partake in some form of community service
Keller Williams Advance Realtors and volunteer first responders, Henré Claassen and Tarryn French, provided some tips on how to prepare the body physically for blood donation.
“You need a big breakfast, a Coke-Zero and plenty of couch time,” said the pair, looking forward to a Human Rights Day resting in front of the TV.
The Florida donor day was marshalled by Sister Yubre Izaks who gave a few words of motivation for hesitant donors.
“You get a free fruit juice and some cookies,” joked the nurse before emphasising the seriousness of blood donation.
“Just the blood flowing through you now has the potential to save a life. Every single pint makes a difference,” said Yubre.

Also read: SANBS celebrate Women’s Month

Edwin Maleka with the blood donor kit. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.
Kevin Strydom. Photo: Nicola Jansen van Vuuren.
Blood donor Precious Gumede. Photo: Chanté Bolton.

SANBS at Westgate Shopping Centre
SANBS donor centre in Westgate was buzzing with a sense of care and hope as the charitable heart aimed at the health care system has a sufficient supply of blood.

According to Dawn Matsetela, a volunteer, SANBS relies mainly on stakeholders and volunteers, such as Hester and David van Vuuren, who meet with the stakeholders and donors and give valuable suggestions to the volunteers at the centre. They also help out at the centre, as due to medical reasons they are unable to donate blood anymore.

Lerato Mmatladi, another volunteer and donor himself stated, “I think it’s a good incentive for people to donate for you to give other people a chance to live as well, so when you have the opportunity to help somebody, I feel and believe that it is a good idea that you just give a helping hand.”

Precious Gumede, who has been donating blood for almost 10 years now, described her willingness to donate blood due to the high demand and her passion for people, she further states she would encourage others who can donate as well.

David and Hester van Vuuren. Photo: Chanté Bolton.
Phillip Calaca. Photo: Nicola Jansen van Vuuren.
Bronwyne Rowe rolling up her sleeve as part of her community service duty. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

SANBS stand at Clearwater Mall’s Entrance Five
Many shoppers walking past the SANBS’ donation site either came back to donate blood or enquired about the requirements to donate blood. Enzo Snyman and Linda Cartwright, both on the donor committee, ensured those donating blood were doing well.

Wendy Liversage and her mother Doreen Holiday. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.
SANBS’ Professional Nurses Tebogo Maboe and Simangele Mgaga. Photo: Nicola Jansen van Vuuren.
Henré Claassen donating blood before knocking off his volunteer first responder shift. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

Tuesday marked the 21st time donating blood for 43-year-old Phillip Calaca and 52-year-old Kevin Strydom, both carry blood type O+ and explained that they donate blood because they can.

“Too often people need blood transfusions, especially with Easter weekend coming up. I am just doing my part,” explained Kevin. Strydom’s son, Keagan, 24, joined his father in donating blood.
“This is my 11th blood donation. I am a universal donor, type O+, and donating blood is such an easy way to save lives,” said Keagan.

Another donor, Michael MacFarlane, 53, explained that this would be his 10th donation, “I have a universal blood type and realised that there is a great shortage when it comes to blood banks. I am just doing my part as a South African citizen. We all have a responsibility to assist and help change someone’s life.”

Keagan Strydom. Photo: Nicola Jansen van Vuuren.
Bronwyne Rowe rolling up her sleeve as part of her community service duty while Nurse Yubre Izaks finds the vein. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

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