Initiative to encourage blood donors
Johannesburg – Facebook, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) and the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) have initiated a partnership to encourage people to donate blood.
South Africans aged over 18 years can sign up as blood donors on Facebook, be notified when blood donor centres near them have an urgent need for donations and invite friends to donate.
South Africa is the first African country that Facebook has launched this feature. This is at a time as the country sees a significant drop in blood donations as a result of people staying home to prevent the spread of Covid-19, though health institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) said it is still safe to donate blood.
Since its launch in 2017 Facebook has partnered with blood donation centres around the world, with over 60 million people having signed as blood donors in the US, Brazil, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
Facebook Africa regional director Nunu Ntshingila said they are committed to building safe and supportive communities during the difficult time.
“We want to make it easy to connect people who want to donate with opportunities to give, while learning about the blood donation opportunities near them and inspiring action. This is an important partnership with SANBS and the Western Cape Blood Service, and one which we believe will make a positive difference to blood giving,” Ntshingila said.
SANBS chief marketing officer Silungile Mlambo said they face challenges in collection of blood each year. “This year the pandemic brought us a new challenge. We hope that through this tool we will have better reach to all our donors. This will revolutionise the way we connect with the donors, allowing us to work smarter and optimise our resources,” Mlambo said.
People aged between 18 and 65 can sign up to be blood donors on Facebook by going to Blood Donations in the About section of their profile, or access the link: facebook.com/donateblood. People will be able to see requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook on their mobile devices to over 80 blood donation sites.
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