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Can people with diabetes donate blood?

Our community asked us the other day: Can people with diabetes donate blood? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is below.

can people with diabetes donate blood

Can people with diabetes donate blood?

There seems to be a lot of confusion around whether people with diabetes are allowed donating blood. So we checked with the Western Cape Blood Service on whether people living with diabetes can donate blood. Here’s everything you need to know.

Are there any rules for those with Type 1 or Type 2?

We welcome people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to donate blood, provided their blood glucose levels are well controlled and they do not have any serious complications from diabetes, such as kidney or eye disease.

blood donation for diabetics

Are there criteria for donating blood?

We encourage diabetic donors to test their blood glucose level on the day of donation. This reading should ideally be between 5 and 11 mmol/l.
We also ask them to make sure they are well hydrated
and have had a meal.

Western Cape Blood Service

Does this apply only in the Western Cape?

No, this applies to other blood donation centres elsewhere in South Africa.

Blood donor app

Download the blood donor app today and access all your blood donation information quickly and easily. You can download it from Google Play or App Store.

Interested in hosting a blood drive?

host a blood drive

If you are interested in hosting a blood drive at your work, school or community you can contact WCBS at 021 507 6300 or send an email to to find out more.

For more information, please visit: or call toll free number on 0800 OBLOOD (625663)

What to read next?

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Accepting a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis – Mokopane’s story: We love sharing our community’s stories of life with diabetes – including how to accept a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Here is Mokopane Bohlale’s story.

Living With Diabetes: Siyabonga Kwanele Zuma is a writer and creator of the Living With Diabetes series on YouTube. He shares his story of life with Type 1 diabetes.

What to read next
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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.