Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Blood donation increases in the Western Cape

By Odette Ismail
12 September 2006

Seventy-seven new blood donors and 48 previous donors were accounted for at the one day blood donor clinic that was set up at the Cape Town International Convention Centre last week.

Head of promotions and planning of the Western Province Blood Transfusion Services (WPBTS), Graham Thurtle told the Cape Times that it was ‘significant’ that new donors were more than the previous donors, as normally it would be the other way around.

Two-thousand blood transfusion professionals from 85 countries were in Cape Town during the donor clinic, as part of the International Society of Blood Transfusion Congress.

It resulted in 475 blood donations around the province on the same day and caused a rise of collections by 30%. Thurtelll says the overall amount of 600 donors just about reached the WPBTS target of 600 to 700 units a day.

Professor of medicine and head of UCT’s Bioethics Centre Solly Benatar mentioned at the congress that most of the developing countries did not screen blood for all blood-borne diseases and that every year unsafe blood accounted for eight to 16 million hepatitis B infections, 2.3 to 4.7 million hepatitis C infections and 80 000 to 160 000 HIV infections.


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