The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) says since the nationwide 21-day lockdown began the number of donors has declined. The organisation is calling on South Africans to contact their nearest centre to get information on how they can still donate.

SANBS in Bloemfontein says people can still donate during the nationwide lockdown.

Free State Head of Donor Relations, Jana Wallace, says donors now need to make an appointment as the blood services need to adhere to the lockdown regulations.

Wallace says they are running low on stocks and the situation might reach a critical level.

“If people continue to donate blood then we will be fine because like I said, we currently have got a 4.5-day blood stock. We are aiming for five days on a daily basis. It is a little bit lower as required. We are only on Day 5 of the lockdown, so we encourage donors to do their part. “

Donors are encouraged to book appointments at their nearest centres. The management says it’s important that people know that donating blood is an essential service.

“The blood we receive goes to emergency services, like pregnant women, people with cancer and those who have been involved in accidents,” says Wallace.

Sello Mohokare of Bloemfontein has been donating blood for the past two years. He says donating blood is not only important for the person who needs blood, but also for the donor to promote good health.

“A person is the sole manufacturer of blood … therefore, it is important to go out and donate blood. It also helps us to reduce liver damage. It helps to reduce the chances of contracting cancer. It helps with obesity and a lot of things.”

Another blood donor Chirstine Van Der Berg agrees. “It is very important to donate blood, especially at this time. “

The SANBS  says it hopes South Africans will heed the call to come forward and donate blood.