By Wallace Mawire
More than 600 members of Shincheonji Church of Jesus across Southern Africa are planning to donate blood on Saturday 28 May 2022 to help ease the national blood shortage.
According to Ravi Reddy, the CEO of the South African National Blood Service (SANBS), blood stock levels are currently at a critically low level due to the COVID-19 pandemic that limited access to regular blood drive venues. “We are appealing to the public to please donate much-needed blood.”
In the Western Cape alone the WCBS needs to collect a minimum of 700 units of blood daily to sustain demand in the province. “One unit of blood equals 475ml that is collected from one donor. We always try and ensure a 5-day blood stock supply. Unfortunately, at the moment we are in critical need, and we only have a 1-day supply,” says Marike Gevers, spokesperson for the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS).
She added that, “We therefore need 700 people to come out and donate blood daily.”
With this cry for help, hundreds of members of Shincheonji churches from different cities and towns across Southern Africa decided to organise a national blood drive. “The church’s desire is to assist and alleviate this burden on the national and local blood service caused by the aftermath of the pandemic. We want to help the community in this time of shortage,” a spokesperson for the church said.
“I want to help by giving 30-minutes of my time to donate one unit of blood, and hopefully save one or more lives. I am so excited that so many other members have also decided to do the same,” Cleo Solomons, a congregation member of Shincheonji Church of Jesus, said.
Gevers from the WCBS stated that, “one blood donation can save up to three people’s lives.”
She thanked members of Shincheonji for taking the initiative to organise such a large-scale blood drive this week and urged the public to also participate by visiting their nearest donation centre.