New Blood Donor Centre to open at N1City Mall – Getting Closer to You.
A new permanent Blood Donor Centre at N1 City Mall opened its doors at the beginning of February making it easier and more convenient for donors to donate blood.
The new Donor Centre, situated at Shop 40B in the Mall, will be officially launched on the 19 February. It offers a comfortable, convenient and popular venue for blood donors in the Cape Town area, as part of our strategy to make blood donation easier and more accessible for donors, said Marika Champion, spokesperson for the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS).
The new Blood Donor Centre will be open week days between 10:00 and 17:45 daily as well as on Saturdays (9:00 to 14:45) and Sundays (9:00 and 11:45) providing a valuable location for local donors to donate blood outside typical working hours.
N1 City Mall was chosen due to the central location of the Mall (between Northern and Southern suburbs), its easy access, free parking and its strong links with the community.
Blood donation is a critical service to help save the lives of those people in need of transfusions. The blood products taken from a donation only have a relatively short shelf life. Red blood cells, usually transfused to patients with anaemia and severe blood loss, last around 35 days. However, platelets used to treat cancer patients (leukaemia) have a much shorter shelf life so it is vital for donors to give blood regularly.
To ensure we are able to continue supplying hospitals with the blood they need to treat patients we are always looking for new donors to come forward and for regular donors to keep their appointments. We also need to thank our donor community, without whose support, we would not be able to save lives.
As part of WPBTS efforts to facilitate easy donor access to the donor clinics we have also introduced the new bright red 'Blood Buzz', a fully operational mobile blood clinic in a bus, said Champion. The bus which is able to take five donors at a time and offers donors air-conditioned convenience while donating will travel to various venues throughout the year.
Both the new N1 City Mall Donor Centre and the Blood Buzz were made possible by the support of the International Centre for Disease Control (CDC) with funding from the United States President's Fund for Aids Relief. These features are part of a larger strategy by WPBTS to strengthen their infrastructure and to encourage more donors in order to achieve a sustainable blood supply.
I would encourage anyone thinking about giving blood to do so. After you've had your tea and biscuits you might even forget you've done it, but your donation could save someone's life, said Champion.
Blood donors have to be older than 17, weigh more than 50kg and lead a healthy and safe lifestyle.
If you are uncertain whether you are eligible to donate, or would like to book an appointment call the WPBTS on 021 507 6300 or visit the website at www.wpblood.org.za