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Health a basic right

Human Rights Day, celebrated annually on 21 March, is a national observation and proclamation of the rights people enjoy in South Africa.

This iconic day is a stark reminder of the cost that was paid for the human rights we enjoy today.

Health is a basic human right. Every year, millions of South Africans receive a life-saving blood transfusion that is made possible by the selfless acts of donors.

This is a right that we all enjoy, owing to the comprehensive South African Bill of Rights preserved in our constitution.

The South African National Blood Service’s (SANBS) mandate, as an organisation, is to save lives and ensure that every citizen has access to blood transfusions when they need it. SANBS supports the rights of citizens and understands that access to affordable healthcare of the highest quality is a basic human right.

“Under the theme the year of ‘unity, socio-economic renewal and nation-building’, we acknowledge the role that blood donors play in helping us to serve the greater South African community,” said Silungile Mlambo, SANBS spokesperson.

“On the foot of the COVID-19 outbreak, we might be faced with a blood collection crisis.”

The SANBS encourages healthy members of the public to visit their nearest donor centre and donate blood. They continue to follow the guidelines issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) promoting healthy personal hygiene at all fixed and mobile donor centres.

“We, at SANBS, observe Human Rights Day to emphasise our commitment to equal access to healthcare services – which is one of the basic human rights. Anything that you, as an individual, can do to make a difference can and will change the lives of so many people in need,” said Mlambo.

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