Show your love: Donate blood this Valentines - and get a gift!

FEBRUARY 11, 2015

The South African National Blood Service is currently experiencing a national blood shortage and is relying on the public to open up their hearts this Valentines weekend to alleviate the pressure on doctors, patients and their families – and you might get a gift in the process. 

“[Still], the emphasis is on people to come forward to donate blood.  We are trying to create some fun around a Valentine’s Day theme and gift, but we are not in a position to give donors gifts every time they donate blood, since it is just not sustainable for us to do,” said Maryke Harris, Public Relations Practitioner for the South African National Blood Service in Port Elizabeth.

“Blood donation must be voluntary and non-remunerated as per guidelines from the World Health Organisation.”

According to the South African National Blood Service,  a ‘cut-back system’ has been imposed nationally, where fewer units are issued compared to what doctors order, in order to spread products to all patients in need.

Hence, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is inviting all healthy people, between the ages of 16 and 65 years, who weigh 50kg or more and lead a safe lifestyle, to display their love by donating blood.

While it might not sound very romantic, donating blood is a great way to say ‘I love you’ and it’s a sure-fire way to impress a loved one.  

Blood is essential for treating accident victims, cancer patients after chemotherapy, surgery patients, burn wound victims and many others, and the only source is from blood donors.  There is no artificial substitute for all the benefits donated blood provides.

However, if you miss the Valentines weekend campaign, you are urged to still pop in at any of the centers listed below and donate.

 “If people are unable to donate blood for whatever reason and do not qualify for the Valentine’s Day gift or promotion, they may always come at a later stage, although this might mean that there will not be a gift available,” said Harris.

“We do encourage people to donate blood 4 times in a calendar year in order to qualify for a gift.  The 2015 gift is a SANBS tog bag. 

“But, we cannot issue gifts for 2 or 3 donations, since we simply won’t have enough gifts, so it is very important for people to understand and commit to this ‘Commitment Campaign’ upfront.  We often find that we run out of gifts, so our campaigns are always linked to ‘while stocks last’.”

Early Valentine’s Day Blood donation appeal

 Valentine’s Day is almost here.

You should be planning something special to stay in the clear.

 Flowers and hearts could be the decorations

and this should create enough reason for celebrations.

 But here is a challenge to do something different this year.

Please donate blood and show no fear.

Welcoming you at a blood drive will be such a pleasure,

and your gesture is something a patient and their family will always treasure.

 

This Valentines promotion will only be running for a LIMITED time ONLY at the following blood drives (please take note of the clinic times):

Thursday, 12 February 2015

  • Port Elizabeth Donor Centre (Provincial Hospital Grounds, Buckingham Road, Mount Croix) 08:00-17:00
  • Walker Drive Donor Centre (above Bonamia) 09:30-18:00
  • Cleary Park Donor Centre (banking mall) 09:00-17:30
  • Uitenhage Donor Centre (2 Billson Street, Uitenhage) 10:00-18:00

Friday, 13 February 2015 (all clinics closing early due to staff training)

  • Port Elizabeth Donor Centre (Provincial Hospital Grounds, Buckingham Road, Mount Croix) 08:00-13:30
  • Walker Drive Donor Centre (above Bonamia) 08:00-13:30
  • Cleary Park Donor Centre (banking mall) 08:00-13:30
  • 6th Avenue Shopping Centre (bus) 08:00-13:30

Saturday, 14 February 2015

  • Port Elizabeth Donor Centre (Provincial Hospital Grounds, Buckingham Road, Mount Croix) 08:00-12:00
  • Walker Drive Donor Centre (above Bonamia) 08:00-14:00
  • Cleary Park Donor Centre (banking mall) 08:00-14:00

For more information, please phone 0800 11 90 31 or visit www.sanbs.org.za.

CAPTION:  Sr Rochelle Mkutu (SANBS) with Meneshia van Rooyen (blood donor) and Sr Sue van Rensburg who all hold blood donation close to their hearts.