The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) in conjunction with the Western Cape Government officially opened the fifth Western Cape Blood Bank at the Khayelitsha District Hospital on Wednesday, 18 September 2019.

“It is a remarkable milestone opening our first blood bank in over twenty years and there is no better place than here, at the Khayelitsha District Hospital,” said Dr Gregory Bellairs, CEO / Medical Director at the WCBS.  “It is ideal to be situated in one of the larger state hospitals as it enhances delivery to the surrounding areas.  The blood bank will be operational for 24-hours a day which will result in rapid availability of cross-matched blood to this hospital and other, surrounding hospitals served by it, and where the demand is always high, particularly in trauma wards.  This, in turn, will save many lives.” Bellairs continued.

Mr David Binza, acting CEO of the Khayelitsha District Hospital addressed guests at the opening by congratulating the WCBS on this milestone and welcomed the Service to its hospital.

The WCBS currently has enough blood for two days and urgently calls on, especially group O+ and O- donors to donate blood.  “We would like to appeal to all new, and regular eligible donors who belong to the O group to please come and donate blood as we are experiencing a severe shortage of this type.  The demand for group O blood is always high, as this is the universal blood group and the one that is used in an emergency, where there is no time to determine the patient’s blood type.” says Irene van Schalkwyk, PR, Planning and Promotions Manager at the WCBS.

Donated blood which has been tested and separated into components (plasma, platelets and red blood cells), are kept at blood banks.  When blood is requested for a patient, a sample of the patient’s blood is cross-matched against a sample of the blood in stock, to determine the most compatible match.

If you are older than 16 and younger than 75, weigh more than 50kg, you are healthy on the day of donation and lead a safe sexual lifestyle you can be blood donor.  To find out where to donate visit or call 021 507 6300 or SMS ‘Blood to 33507.