The Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS) has been hard at work during National Blood Donor Month to ensure that a blood shortage is avoided. However, with all efforts in place it seems that the cold and wet weather is keeping donors away.

Traditionally, the winter months are a difficult blood collection period due to the fact that many regular donors suffer from colds and flu and consequently are unable to donate. Currently, our large number of Muslim donors are also fasting and therefore cannot donate. This places WPBTS under immense pressure to collect sufficient blood.

“WPBTS needs to maintain a blood stock level of 5 days at all times to meet the demand of patients who are reliant on blood transfusions for their survival. However, at the moment we only have 2 days of group O blood in the Western Cape,” says Irene van Schalkwyk, PR and Promotions Manager at WPBTS.

WPBTS is therefore appealing to regular donors and potential donors who meet the minimum requirements to visit their nearest blood donor clinic and donate blood.

Persons older than 16, weighing more than 50 kg’s, who is in general good health and leads a safe lifestyle, is eligible to donate blood.  Donors must remember to eat a substantial meal within three to four hours before donating.

While donors from all blood groups and communities are important, there is a particular need for donors with blood types O  and B to donate as stocks of these are more vulnerable to shortfalls.  There is also a need for more black African people to become blood donors to reflect the ethnic diversity of patients.

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 or visit  Like us on Facebook (WP Blood), follow us on Twitter (@WPBlood) and/ or Instagram (WP_Blood) or download the WP Blood App (free download on iOS and Android app stores) for blood stock updates.

Do something remarkable and donate blood!