All about blood donation

Visitors to South Africa

If you’re touring our shores, you'll be glad to know that blood transfusion in South Africa is extremely safe. South Africa is currently the only African country that tests every single donor’s contribution with specialised NAT (Nucleic Acid Testing) testing, which uses DNA technology that effectively narrows the detection period of HIV infection to between 5-11 days. HIV, Hepatitis B & C and Syphilis are all tested for.

If you’re a tourist and would like to donate blood, you are welcome to do so provided:

  • You meet the standard donor health criteria.
  • You have not been in a malaria area in the past month. In the case of possible exposure, we can only use your platelets from two months after, and red blood cells from three months after you've exited the malaria area.

Travellers heading out of South Africa

A shortage of safe donors, a lack of funds and the high prevalence of HIV and hepatitis B, combined with a lack of scientific technology, make the provision of safe blood supply in the rest of Africa erratic and risky – especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

Blood is a scarce commodity, and, if available, may pose a serious threat of disease transmission. If you intend travelling outside of South Africa, try maintaining a group compatibility profile. It’s also advisable to carry suitable blood collection bags and sterile equipment required for blood transfusion. A nurse will be able to assist.

Tourist information

For more information and advice on testing and equipment required, or to find out about donating, please contact us.