South Africa running the risk of blood shortage

The South African National Blood Service is hosting a #NewBlood drive to encourage people to donate blood on Human Rights Day March 21.

The SANBS is implementing the mass blood drive to recruit new donors and ensure there is sufficient stock of safe blood available in South Africa. The #NewBlood campaign aims to collect 4 500 units of blood on the public holiday.

“Currently less than 1  per cent of South Africans donate blood, even though it demands little more than giving up 30 minutes of their time at least twice a year,” said Silungile Mlambo, chief marketing officer for the SANBS.

“That means that we often experience shortages which places lives at risk – lives of babies born prematurely, lives of accident victims, lives of women giving birth and the lives of people fighting cancer.”

“We are therefore calling on anyone who has never donated or has not donated in over a year to heed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plea and to become an agent of change and lend a hand by becoming a blood donor, starting on Human Rights Day.

You don’t need to have money or have a graduate degree or a fancy car. If you’re over 16 years old, weigh over 50kg and practice a safe lifestyle, you can be a blood donor.

By donating blood you can save up to three people’s lives – so something that costs you nothing is absolutely priceless for someone in need of blood.

She says that the SANBS is launching the #NewBlood campaign on Human Rights Day because it signals the start of the Easter holiday period.

“Holidays are unfortunately the time when we traditionally run short of blood because we are not able to host our regular drives at schools and university campuses.

However, this year, the SANBS wants to start turning things around. We want to lend a hand, as President Ramaphosa asked us to do, and ensure that there is enough safe blood available in the country.

The #NewBlood campaign is asking you to lend us a hand by becoming a regular blood donor,” concluded Mlambo.

Visit or call 0800 11 90 31 to find out where to donate on Human Rights Day.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have announced that they will be marching in Gauteng on Human Rights Day to protest against the proposed new labour laws that come into effect in May.

In a statement on Saturday, Numsa national spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, said the union was marching as part of a coalition of workers’ organisations that had come together as part of the “Scrap the New Labour Laws” campaign.

“The ANC government wants to change the labour law to make it impossible for workers to go on strike.”

“We call on all workers to defend this constitutional right to strike and join us as we march on March 21, to remind the state that workers’ rights are human rights,” she said.

Deputy President David Mabuza will on Wednesday, 21 March 2018, address the national Human Rights Day Commemoration in remembrance of sixty nine protesters who were killed by apartheid security forces during the anti-pass law protest in Sharpeville, Vereeniging.

The incident famously known as Sharpeville Massacre took place in 21 March 1960 after thousands of anti-apartheid activists from Sharpeville and across the country protested against the racial pass law which violated the basic human rights of black people.


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