The Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS) relies on the altruism of thousands of blood donors to ensure it continually has stocks of the correct blood type to help treat critically ill patients.  In the Western Cape alone the Service has to collect 700 units of blood daily to meet the need of patients.

During the week of 15 to 21 August 2016, WPBTS will be participating with 21 countries in an international awareness campaign to encourage more people to register as blood donors and donate blood.

People rarely think about their blood type – most of us don’t even know our blood type. But if that ‘type’ was to go missing in everyday life, people would start to pay closer attention to the need for blood. So during the campaign period blood services and their partners will be removing the letters A, O and B (the blood groups) from places of high interest on a global scale as part of the International Missing Type campaign to create engagement and awareness of the importance of giving blood.

The ground-breaking and award-winning Missing Type campaign was first activated very successfully in England and North Wales in 2015 by NHS Blood and Transplant. “We’re really excited about bringing the Missing Type campaign to the Western Cape in 2016 and have managed to get great partners involved,” says Marlize van der Merwe, WPBTS Spokesperson.  “This campaign aims to create wide scale engagement with blood donation, increase the number of donors and ultimately help save lives.”

Partners participating in the Missing Type campaign throughout the Western Cape include:

Business partners: Century City, Tyger Valley Shopping Center, Somerset Mall, Langeberg Mall, False Bay College

Media partners: Cape Talk, KFM, Matie FM, Radio Helderberg, Radio KC, Radio Overberg, Whale Coast FM, WRFM, Caledon FM, Magic 828am

Celebrity partners: Carishma Basdy, Dr Darren Green, Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Suzelle DIY

You can also be part of the campaign and assist us by encouraging others to register as blood donors and donate blood regularly by reposting/ retweeting our posts or even our partners’ posts.  Leave out O’s, A’s and B’s from your posts, challenge others to do the same and remember to use the hashtag #MissingType and tag @WPBlood.

Any person older than 16 years, weighing more than 50kg and who leads a healthy, safe lifestyle can donate blood.  Donors must remember to eat three to four hours before donating blood and increase their fluid intake before, during and after blood donation.

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