Easter and Ramadan are set to take place over April and May, with both religious seasons focusing on the importance of reflection and charity. This is the ideal time to give back to those in need. The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) has launched a blood donation campaign, which highlights the impact that a single donation can have on another person’s life.

“You might not know who your blood is going to, but you can be sure that it will make a difference in someone’s life,” says Michelle Vermeulen, spokesperson for WCBS. “We hope that this campaign will inspire people to give blood. Although many people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lives, less than 1.5% of the population donates.”

The series of videos places the donor in the spotlight, highlighting the personal relationship that donating blood creates with the possible recipient. The videos show that anyone can donate regardless of race, gender or ethnicity. No matter who you are, you can save three lives with each donation.

“During the Easter period and over Ramadan we see a significant drop in blood stocks. Many of our regular donors are away on holiday for Easter or fasting over the religious month of Ramadan,” says Vermeulen. “This is a critical time – with the Western Cape population growing steadily, we need your help in order to meet the increasing demand for blood.”

The blood donated is given to trauma and accident victims, surgery patients, burn victims and people with blood diseases such as leukaemia and sickle-cell anaemia. “Every unit of whole blood is separated into three lifesaving parts; red cells, platelets and plasma,” says Vermeulen.

To donate you need to be between the ages of 16 and 65, weigh over 50kg, be in good general health and lead a safe sexual lifestyle.  The process does not cause you any bodily harm – only 475ml of blood is taken, and this is replaced within 24 hours.

For more information on how you can save a life, SMS “Blood” to 33507, call WCBS on 021 507 6300, e-mail info@wcbs.org.za or visit www.wcbs.org.za. Blood stock updates and interesting facts about donation can be found on Facebook (@TheWCBS), Twitter (@The_WCBS) and Instagram (@thewcbs) accounts.

Video links:

Https://youtu.be/QalCSwaXhzQ – Erica Brougham-Cook and Cebisa Mtsi’s story

Https://youtu.be/ub3l1JzlqhQ – Veronica Ntshwanti and Devon Walbrugh’s story

Https://youtu.be/wrnc5NWb4Mg – Nomawethu Lebata and Biusilia Tembela’s story

Https://youtu.be/fkBmbkUIuek – Inkie Lotter and Aislinn Louis’s story

Https://youtu.be/9WmdBzQ2FGs – Sivuyile Mafilika and Nazeerah Moosa’s story

Https://youtu.be/GJnzNK6dA50 – Titus Mmekoa and Majed Almhdi’s story