Photo Credit: Supplied

The Journey of Blood: Blood donors in the KwaZulu-Natal area can now visit the new SANBS state-of-the-art laboratory to see how each donation is processed.


KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (07 June 2021) – South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has unveiled the world’s first ‘Journey of Blood’ facility based at SANBS KZN regional Headquarters in Mount Edgecombe.

This state-of-the-art laboratory will enable the public to go on a walk through the facility without physically entering the lab space. People will see first-hand the testing and processing of blood to get it ready to save a life.

The lab is 7500 square meters and consists of the following facility features:

  • A glass ceiling that provides a full view of the journey of blood.
  • Interactive information screens.
  • It is a solar-powered ‘Green Building’ with a borehole water system and a negligible carbon footprint
  • A drone port on the roof of the building
  • All laboratories were built in line with Good Manufacturing Practise (GMP) standards.
  • The facility even features a restaurant for donors to eat before or after donating blood.

“This first of its kind ‘Journey of Blood’ destination centre highlights the operating philosophy at SANBS which is underpinned by a focus on long-term sustainability, risk mitigation and a values-based culture centred on donors, staff and patients. The blood donor fraternity is tremendously excited to be allowed to ‘walk the Journey of Blood’ and our team is eager to share their expertise with our valued donors. Regulators, scholars and students are also welcome to experience the journey of blood with us.” Said Ravi Reddy, SANBS CEO.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says safe blood and blood products and their transfusion are a critical aspect of care and public health. They save millions of lives and improve the health and quality of life of many patients every day. The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all those who need it is not.

SANBS built this facility in Mount Edgecombe, KZN to raise awareness of blood transfusion in the province and grow the donor pool so that eventually KZN can supply enough blood to meet its own needs. Donors can donate their blood up to six times a year, one unit of blood can save up to three lives, those who are blood group A and AB donors between the ages of 18 to 65 years are eligible to donate plasma every two weeks to a maximum of 24 times a year.

“The launch of this laboratory highlights our continuous dedication to be sustainable innovators in the industry through our facilities that will benefit our staff, donors and visitors who will come and ‘walk the Journey of blood’. The Journey of Blood laboratory will ensure we meet blood demands in KwaZulu-Natal, improve community health through various studies with renowned scientists, in terms of sustainability it contributes to our vision of Greening SANBS which is in line with the UN 2030 sustainable development goals. This further underpins our commitment to ensure that SANBS not only becomes the cornerstone of health care in South Africa but all over the world” added Ms. Ansie Ramalho, SANBS Chairperson.

You can see the new lab below and find out more about donating blood in your area via the website. We recently shared the news that June is National Blood Donor Month so now is the perfect time to donate.


Sources: Press Release
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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