Departmental Employees Donate Blood to Save Lives.

POLOKWANE: Employees at the Provincial Head Office (Department of Health) had recently responded to the "Blood Drive Campaign" and came in numbers to donate blood to save lives. The campaign is organised by South African National Blood Service (SANBS).

Ms Mavis Motswaledi, who works at the department's Records Management is a regular blood donor and still recalls the first time she donated blood.

"My first donation was done while still in high school sometimes in 1998 after we were taught about the importance of donating blood and how my blood can help in saving lives of patients in need of blood," says Mavis.

Mavis says her mother was once in a situation that required blood transfusion. This inspired Mavis to keep on donating blood. "My mother like many other people she is a blood beneficiary who received blood transfusion back in 2014 and this keeps me motivated to want to donate more blood to assist others who might help." she added.

Meanwhile Ms Abrinah Malatji, from Information Management says though she never benefited from blood transfusion she donates knowing very well that one day she or one of her family members might need blood transfusion.

According to World Health Organisation, the 14th of June every year marks the World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products. "It is really an awesome thing to do," says one blood recipient Jacob Mohapi who received blood on two occasions due to horrific car accidents.

The theme for this year's World Blood Donor Day is "blood donation as an act of solidarity" highlighting the fundamental values of empathy and kindness that underpin the selfless act of blood donation.

However, many people in South Africa still have not internalized the importance of donating blood. Out of South Africa's population of 56-million people, only about one per cent donate blood regularly and according to SANBS this blood is used by every person living in this country who needs a transfusion during an operation or after being involved in an accident.