Blood supply in KZN - second-most populous province - is at just 1.8 days of Group O stock, according to the South African National Blood Service (SANBS).
The blood service is calling on donors and residents in the province to come forward to donate blood urgently, to stop cancer sufferers, people in life-threatening situations and anyone else who needs or relies on blood transfusions in KwaZulu-Natal being at risk.
“The blood stock in KZN is dangerously low. The supply amounts to less than 200 units of O blood available around the province,” says Silungile Mlambo, national marketing manager for the blood service.
“A healthy blood stock in the province is 500 units of O blood a day. The situation, simply, is critical. We are appealing to residents of KwaZulu-Natal – active donors, lapsed donors and potential donors – to stand together right now to bolster the regional blood stock.”
Mlambo says blood is critical for cancer patients and women in childbirth – who constitute by far the greatest groups of people requiring blood transfusions.
“So many people in life-threatening situations require blood. It’s what saves a haemorrhaging mother’s life, so that she can raise and love the baby she has just brought into the world. It’s what saves someone suffering complications during major surgery. It’s what helps cancer patients endure and survive treatment.
“And that’s the point: it’s not just blood. It’s saving people’s lives, through a simple, easy donation,” says Mlambo.
To find out more about donating blood and to locate your nearest SANBS donor centre in KwaZulu-Natal, visit sanbs.org.za or call 0800 11 90 31.