By Marike Carli

During March, we encourage the public to be someone’s type by becoming a blood donor. In addition, we focus on educating the public on the ongoing need for new blood donors, especially among the 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%. An active blood donor is seen as someone who donates blood once a year.

At the moment, our active donor base consists of the following:

  • 14% of donors 60 years and older (Donors from the age of 65 move over to our senior citizen programme and can only donate a maximum of 3 times),
  • 19% of donors between the ages of 50 – 59 years old,
  • 20% between 40 – 49 years old,
  • 19% between 30 – 39 years old,
  • and 7% between 26 – 29 years old.

Currently, 15% of donors are classified as youth blood donors, therefore, between the ages of 16 – 25 years. The youth plays a vital role in the sustainability and longevity of our donor base. We have found that many of our young blood donors start donating blood when they are in their youth, and through the years, they continue their lifesaving journey. As committed blood donors and someone who cares about the community and saving lives, we ask that you encourage the youth to donate blood. Our youth are not only our future leaders and change-makers but also our future life-savers!