To mark World Blood Donor Day on 14 June and Youth Day on 16 June, nearly 200 young people from the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) youth group turned out to donate blood to help save the lives of others.
More than 120 units of blood were collected after the young people were thoroughly screened and tested at the UCKG's Park Station church on Saturday 11 June 2011.
The blood drive, organised in conjunction with the South African National Blood Services (SANBS), was the third hosted by the UCKG in the past two months. The church is committed to doing whatever it can to ensure that there is sufficient safe blood available for medical emergencies.
Besides giving the gift of life, becoming a regular blood donor has positive long term lifestyle implications and could help reduce the prevalence of HIV/Aids. SANBS reports that international research and statistics indicate that people who are regular blood donors are committed to living safe lifestyles and maintaining their healthy infection-free status.
UCKG youth group members, who also donated blood in April 2011, are acknowledged by their peers as role models for others to emulate. Their selfless example is helping to spread important messages to their local communities, highlighting the value of donating safe blood and of taking care of your health.
"Blood is the most precious gift you can give to another person, and it costs you nothing except a little time. The reality is that you never know when you may need blood to save your own, or a family member's life. In a crisis, everyone relies on SANBS having sufficient supply to meet demand. Without available blood, your loved one may die. It is only through donations that blood stocks can be maintained and blood products provided to those in need. UCKG is proud to mark Youth Day 2011 by donating blood to help others", said Nametso Mofokeng, public relations officer for UCKG.
Vanessa Raju, SANBS manager: brand and communications, said that World Blood Donor Day highlights the importance of donating blood and saving lives. She said: "Anyone between the age of 16 and 65 who weighs more than 50kg, is healthy and leads a sexually safe lifestyle is encouraged to donate blood regularly."
SANBS tests every unit of blood donated to ensure it is safe for transmission. Regular donors can donate a unit four times each year.
For further publicity information, please contact Nametso Mofokeng, UCKG Public Relations, at 011 224 3400 / 011 224 3447 or on email: .