On 14 June 2016, Blood Services from across the globe will celebrate World Blood Donor Day.  Carrying the 2016 theme of “Blood connects us all”, this day will focus on thanking blood donors for the selfless effort they make in donating blood, as well as highlighting the dimensions of “sharing” and “connection” between blood donors and patients.

The Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS) and the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) will be celebrating World Blood Donor Day by having our iconic Table Mountain lit up in red during the early morning hours and evening of 14 June.

“This day enables both services to place emphasis on thanking the remarkable donors of South Africa, who save lives every day,” says Marlize van der Merwe, WPBTS Spokesperson.  “It also allows the services to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, as well as regular donations.”

Blood and blood products cannot be stored indefinitely, as it does have an expiry date.  Therefore, regular blood donations are as important as donating on special occasions like 14 June.  Winter is generally a difficult time of the year for both Services due to bad weather, colds and flu and school holidays.  The Blood Services urges all donors and potential donors to do something remarkable and save three lives with each donation.

Blood donation takes 20 to 30 minutes of your time every 56 days.  It requires you to be between the ages of 16 and 65, weigh over 50kgs, be in good general health and lead a safe sexual lifestyle.  It does not cause you any bodily harm, since only 475ml of blood is taken, which is replaced within 24 hours.

For more information, SMS “Blood” to 33507 and WPBTS will call you back with information on where to donate.  Donors can also call (021) 507 6300, e-mail info@wpbts.org.za or visit www.wpblood.org.za.  Like us on Facebook (WP Blood) or follow us on Twitter (@WPBlood) for interesting facts and blood stock updates.