7 months ago
One in 100 people donates blood, but more is needed. Photo by Gallo Images  ~ 

THE South African National Blood Service is struggling to supply enough blood for emergencies this festive season.

It increased its target of blood units due to high demand, but the number of donors is stagnant.

“Our units target has increased from 3 000 to 3 300 a day, and it’s not easy to get sufficient blood every day because only 1% of South Africans donate blood,” said Ivor Hobbs of the blood service.

Type O blood

“The most popular blood is type O because it can be given to anyone in an emergency.”

Blood donation facts

- KZN, the province with the second highest population, has the lowest number of donors.

- One blood donation saves three lives. The blood service encourages people to donate blood more than four times a year. Donors need to donate at least four times because the supply always is pressurised during school holidays.

- To donate blood, you need to be 16 to 65 years old, live a healthy lifestyle, and all your tattoos must be six months or older.

- The blood is mostly used for cancer patients, on women during childbirth and during surgery.

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