June is National Blood Donor month. And, if you’re in two minds whether or not you want to donate blood during the Covid-19 pandemic, this article is for you.

The South African National Blood Service have teamed up with Facebook to woo blood donors. The already uncomplicated life-saving process of blood donation has been simplified even more through this exciting partnership.

This initiative comes at a crucial time as the country starts to see a significant drop in blood donations as a result of people staying at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19. All you need to do is to simply go to your search bar on Facebook, type in donor, then click on blood donations and follow the steps to register. By registering, you’ll get notified when there’s a blood donor drive happening near you. Easy as that!

South Africa is the first African Country to have this kind of partnership with Facebook in response to preventing the spread of Covid-19. Remember, the demand for blood products (blood, platelets and plasma) is constant, even when the world is in the midst of a global pandemic. People get cancer and need blood. Car accidents are still happening … people still need blood for reasons that have nothing to do with the Coronavirus.

Statistics show that a blood transfusion is needed every three seconds. Isn’t it shocking then that although 60% of the population are eligible to donate blood, less than 4% do?!

There are all kinds of ways to help your community during the Covid-19 pandemic. Maybe you’ve been checking in on neighbours more often, or you’ve bought a gift card to help keep a local business afloat. For healthy people looking for a way to help out during the pandemic, donating blood could be a quick and easy way to contribute.

However, is it safe? There is no evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted through blood transfusions. The virus is transmitted from person to person through droplets in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Also, strict precautionary measures are taken by blood centres to keep donors safe.

Did you know that donating blood has many health benefits for you as a donor? Before every blood donation, you’ll get your iron (haemoglobin) level checked, and your blood pressure and pulse rate taken … somewhat like a mini-physical!

Your risk of heart disease and cholesterol will be significantly reduced. According to studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, blood donors are 33% less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack. Consistent blood donation is associated with a lowered risk of liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers.

Also, a one-time blood donation can burn up to 650 calories, as the body has to work hard to replenish itself. Score!

Social distancing does not mean social disengagement. Every unit of blood can save a minimum of three lives as blood is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets.

So, if you’re eligible, roll up your sleeves and give the gift of life today. 

Source: health24.com, bloodcenters.org, oprahmag.com, oneblood.org, lifehack.org, medicaldaily.com, africanhealthmagazine.com, livestrong.com, health.clevelandclinic.org, iol.co.za, medicalnewstoday.com, redcrossblood.org, blood.co.uk, adventhealth.com, sanbs.org.za, power987.co.za, ewnco.za, news24.com

 

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.