Unwavering blood donor retires after 242 donations

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-After a remarkable 242 blood donations, a 74-year-old donor has finally called it quits. Barend du Plessis began donating blood at a young age and has been a regular blood donor since.

“I am actually a little sad because I wanted to reach 250 blood donations but unfortunately due to my medical condition, I can no longer continue to donate blood. I am really grateful to have continuously done my part to help save lives over the years,” Du Plessis said.

The standard age for people to be eligible to donate blood ranges between 16 and 65 years old. Those who are aged 16 and 17 years require consent from their parents or guardians and senior citizens who reach the age of above 65 have to get permission of their doctor to continue donating blood.

One blood donation can potentially help save the lives of three patients, meaning Du Plessis has potentially helped save an extraordinary 726 patients during his long-spanning career as a blood donor.

“You never know when you may also require a blood transfusion because I was once hospitalised myself and I received five units of blood after diagnosis from my doctor,” said Du Plessis.

He also commented that the staff members at Namibia Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) have always been helpful and “friendly” since he started donating blood. “I would like to encourage others to donate blood regularly and continue to do so for as long as they can,” Du Plessis concluded. Commenting on Du Plessis’ commitment over the years, NamBTS Educational Officer Titus Shivute said, “People like Mr Du Plessis are really hard to come by in our society.”

He added that Du Plessis’ passion towards the cause of blood donation over so many years should be taken as an exemplary target among current blood donors and those who qualify to donate blood but do not currently do so.
Those interested in becoming blood donors should be older than 16 years, weigh more than 50kg, lead a sexually safe lifestyle and enjoy general good health, said Shivute.

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