World Blood Donor Day: Iron-deficiency Anaemia

World Blood Donor Day: Iron-deficiency Anaemia

14 June is World Blood Donor Day

Today we are focusing on anaemia, a common blood disorder that affects many people throughout the world.

Blood is a vital liquid that your heart constantly pumps through your veins, arteries and all throughout your body. When something goes wrong in your blood, it can affect your health and quality of life.

Types of Anaemia

Iron-deficiency anaemia is the most common type of anaemia. This condition occurs if your body can’t keep up with its need for iron. At certain times—such as during pregnancy, growth spurts, or blood loss— your body needs more iron than usual.

Eating food rich in Iron and Vitamin C will help to treat this type of anaemia, as these minerals will help you increase iron absorption from your food.

Other types of Anaemia include:

  • Pernicious anaemia
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Hemolytic anemia

World Blood Donor DaySymptoms of Anaemia

Some common symptoms of Anaemia include:

  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Faintness or dizziness
  • Increased thirst
  • Sweating
  • Weak and rapid pulse, rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lower leg cramps
  • Heart-related symptoms (abnormal heart rhythms, heart murmur, enlarged heart, heart failure)

Combat Iron-deficiency Anaemia with Nuts and Seeds

Blood Donor DayThe following nuts and seeds are good sources of iron at the daily intake specified:

  • Cashews, roasted and unsalted (50 g)
  • Pine nuts (30 g)
  • Pistachio nuts (40 g)
  • Linseed (7 g)
  • Sesame seeds (40 g)
  • Sunflower seeds (40 g)

World Blood Donor Day

World Blood Donor DayWorld Blood Donor Day (WBDD) is an important day on the health calendar.

Each year on 14 June, countries around the world commemorate World Blood Donor Day. Established in 2004, this day serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood.

Are you a blood donor? While not everyone is always able to donate blood for a variety of health-related reasons. it’s always a good idea to find out if you are eligible. Your blood could save lives.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

  • 112.5 million blood donations are collected globally, half of these are in high-income countries.
  • Blood donation by 1% of the population can meet a nation’s most basic requirements for blood.
  • 57 countries collect 100% of their blood supply from voluntary, unpaid blood donors.

Here are some facts about blood donors in South Africa:

  • Less than 1% of South Africans are regular blood donors
  • An estimated eight out of ten people will need blood or some form of blood product during their lives
  • One unit of blood can be used to save three different lives
  • A donor can only give blood every 56 days
  • There are far fewer donors than recipients, so blood is always in short supply

What can you do?

  1. Visit the South African National Blood Service website and find out where your nearest donation site is.
  2. Stock up on iron-rich nuts and seeds at your nearest Montagu store.


  • NHLBI. (2011). In Brief: Your Guide to Anemia. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) (US Department of Health and Human Services). Source: (
  • South African Department of Health. (2010). Regulations relating to the labelling and advertising of foodstuffs (R146). Government Gazette.
  • Wolmarans, P. et al. (2010). Condensed Food Composition Tables for South Africa. Medical Research Council, Parow Valley, Cape Town.