Media statement by the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo at the occasion of a blood donation initiative, at the Legislature
5 Nov 2009
Today; I wish to make a humble call to my fellow Members of the Executive, parliamentarians, public servants and the people of KwaZulu-Natal to make this day forth a day of giving.
The greatest and most valuable gift we could give to the thousands of our people whose continued life will be decided by the availability of blood and blood products, is donating blood today.
Many people find themselves in these unenviable situations as result of conditions such as cancers; road accidents and complications related to giving birth.
The Department of Health has decided to make this call because blood transfusion saves lives and improves health, but thousands of patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood. Many people die because safe blood is not readily available even in some urban healthcare facilities.
The universal access to safe blood is the lifeline for our healthcare system. As a caring society; we should all be proud of our dedicated and selfless, voluntary donors who regularly donate blood to save the lives of children with life threatening anaemia, trauma victims and women with pregnancy related complications, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.
We therefore wish to urge all persons between the ages of 16 and 65 who are in good health to donate blood as regularly as possible. Allow me to use the South African National Blood Service analogy of comparing blood to bread: if more people eat bread than any other food, then surely the supermarkets will have more bread on their shelves, to cater for their customers' needs.
As the need for blood increases, young people can make an important contribution by donating blood and by recruiting other young people to become donors. World Blood Donor Day is commemorated on 14 June each year. The aim is to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion and of the critical contribution voluntary blood donors make to health systems. In 2010, the theme for the World Blood Donor Day will be - Young Donors, with the slogan "New blood for the world"
We hope, through this initiative, that a new generation of optimistic and motivated voluntary blood donors will form a pool that provides the safest blood possible for use wherever and whenever it is needed to save life. Youth must, therefore, be our focus.
I therefore call on my fellow Members of the Executive, parliamentarians, public servants and the people of KwaZulu-Natal to demonstrate the importance of blood donation by donating blood today and encouraging their friends and family members to become regular blood donors. Let us also celebrate and thanks all those who voluntarily donate their blood without fail or any reward.
Let us celebrate the gift of blood!
The Premier, MEC for Health and Head of Department of Health will donate at; 13h00 for picture and interview purposes.
Tel: 033 395 3130
Fax: 033 342 0429
Cell: 083 285 0567
Issued by: Department of Health, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
5 November 2009
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Health
5 Nov 2009
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