SANBS - The Importance of Blood Donation

Saving Lives

  • by onRoute
  • Nov 13, 2013
  • 1480
  • News
Become part of a community that makes a difference!

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) offers an essential service, recruiting people who meet the requirements to become committed blood donors. 

To become a blood donor one must be between the ages of 16 and 65 years, weigh a minimum of 50 kilograms, be in good health and live a sexually safe lifestyle. Donors will complete a questionnaire which assesses their health and lifestyle, followed by an interview with a nurse who will also check blood pressure and iron levels. Once completed, you can go ahead and donate your life-saving blood.

Donors are encouraged to donate a minimum of four times a year and are not rewarded or remunerated for their donations other than knowing that they are able to save lives with this kind act of charity.

The aim is to collect 3000 units of blood on a daily basis to meet the country’s demand, but securing and maintaining a safe blood supply is a constant challenge.


·         The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) issues over one million blood components annually.

·         By law people may only donate every 56 days. This is to ensure that you have had enough time to regenerate the red cells from your last donation.

·         A regular donor is someone who has made three or more donations in a year.

·         By law only 480ml is the amount one is allowed to donate.

·         Blood is deemed safe once the tests for HIV, Hepatitis B and C and Syphilis shows that it is clear.

·         Every unit of blood collected goes through the same stringent testing. So, it does not matter if it’s your first donation or if you are a regular donor, your blood still gets tested every time you donate.

·         Group O blood is the most versatile and adequate stocks of group O blood are vital. If for instance, group A blood is not in stock, group O blood will be used. However, all blood groups are required to ensure adequate stocks at all times.

To become part of a community that makes a difference contact SANBS:

0800 11 9031 or