For the second consecutive year, members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) gave the gift of life-saving blood to help ensure there is sufficient safe blood during the Easter period. More than 100 units of blood were donated and as each unit can save the life of three people, the mobile clinic held by the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) at the UCKG Cenacle of Faith in Soweto, means that almost 350 people will benefit from available blood to save their lives.
Speaking at the education campaign ahead of the blood drive, SANBS educator Oscar Ramutsheli said that good health is not guaranteed. Those whose health is compromised need a special gift - not money or material possessions, but blood from a safe donor. He encouraged church members to help a child get well and celebrate his next birthday, or enable a breadwinner to return to work and provide for his family. Without safe blood in a medical emergency, these precious lives could be lost.
Anyone who is in good health, is between 16 and 65, weighs more than 50kg and leads a sexually safe lifestyle can donate blood up to six times each year. Those who cannot donate blood are invited to encourage others to consider becoming a blood donor. SANBS asks donors to commit to regular donations and make this selfless act, which costs nothing except a little time, a lifelong commitment towards fellow South Africans. Blood from a regular donor who maintains their infection-free status can save a life within 24 hours of the donation.
To meet the demand for blood SANBS needs to maintain a five day stock level. During the Easter holiday period stock can fall to critically low levels and has already started falling. At present SANBS has blood for three days. Nametso Mofokeng, public relations officer at UCKG said: "We believe we have a responsibility to help save lives through donating blood. This is probably the most precious gift you can give to another person. We encourage everyone who has donated blood previously to visit their local SANBS donor centre and donate a unit of blood ahead of the April holiday demand."
As part of their Easter preparation, members of the UCKG were invited to donate blood and follow the example of their Lord and Saviour who gave His life to save others on the cross. In celebration of this event, more than 60 000 church members will travel from all nine provinces to attend the Ask! event at the Ellis Park Stadium on Friday 6 April 2012, to attend the Good Friday prayer meeting.
For further information, please contact Nametso Mofokeng at the church's public relations department on 011 224 3400 or email .
For more information on blood donations, please call SANBS on 0800 11 90 31 or www.sanbs.org.za.