By Jihaan Opperman

During March, we would like to encourage everyone to be someone’s type by becoming a blood donor. We will focus on educating the public on the ongoing need for new blood donors, especially amongst youth. “Ideally, we would like 1 – 2% of the Western Cape population to be active blood donors. Unfortunately, it remains a challenge as we have an active donor base of only 0.92%.” Marike Gevers, Public Relations Manager at the Western Cape Blood Service.

At the moment, our active donor base consists of 14% of donors who is 60 years and older, 19% of donors between the ages of 50 – 59 years old, 20% between the ages of 40 – 49 years old, 19% being between 30 – 39 years old, and 7% between the ages 26 – 29 years old.

“The youth plays a vital role in the sustainability and longevity of our donor base as they start their life-saving journey at a young age and continue to donate blood throughout the years,” says Gevers. Currently, only 22% of donors are between 16 and 25 years old, and we would like to encourage everyone to bring a youth donor with them to their next blood donation.

If you are between 16 and 75, weigh 50kg or more, are in good general health, and lead a safe sexual lifestyle, you should be able to donate. Blood donation only takes 30 minutes and can save up to 3 lives every time.

For more information, call WCBS on 021 507 6300 or email Blood stock updates and interesting facts about donation can be found on Facebook (@TheWCBS), Twitter (@The_WCBS) and Instagram (@thewcbs) accounts. Download the WCBS app, which is available on all iOS and Android devices. It will show you the nearest clinic, the current blood stock levels in real time, and your blood type if you’re a blood donor of course.