Facebook has announced that it is playing a part in helping to increase blood donations in the US.
Today marks World Blood Donor Day. It was founded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise awareness about the need of regular donations.
The day in itself serves as a reminder to all that communities everywhere should have access to safe blood. It also provides an opportunity to thank those who have donated their blood in the past.
So, to commemorate the day, Facebook is running a couple of brilliant initiatives. Firstly, the team are hosting ‘blood drives’ in some of their offices. They are also running a series of awareness campaigns.
The major social media platform has partnered with the American Red Cross and Vitalant. Taking part in the Missing Types campaign, Facebook will post information on several channels to reinforce the need for blood donors.
How World Blood Donor Day has inspired Facebook
Hema Budaraju, product director at Facebook’s Health department, published a blog post earlier on this week (Tuesday June 12) to share the company’s stance on blood donation.
She began with the striking fact that ‘every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood’. According to the post, one donation can potentially save three lives.
Unfortunately, the post states, a decline in blood donors is being experienced at blood banks in the US.
“To help raise awareness and make it easier for people to find opportunities to donate, we’re launching our Blood Donations feature in the US today,” wrote Budaraju.
“We’ll start in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Baltimore and Washington, DC, and will roll out nationwide over the coming months.
“To start, we’re working with partners including America’s Blood Centers, the American Red Cross, Inova, New York Blood Center, Rock River Valley Blood Center, Stanford Blood Center, Versiti, and Vitalant.”
What is Facebook doing to mark World Blood Donor Day?
Well, since 2017 Facebook has partnered with blood donation centres around the world. Amazingly, it has helped to increase the number of donors by some margin!
Through Facebook, more than 35 million people have signed up to be blood donors in Bangladesh, Brazil, India and Pakistan where this feature is available.
According to blood donation centres in India and Brazil, 20% of people said that Facebook influenced their decision to donate blood. This was discovered through in-person surveys, conducted at partner blood banks.
as someone who regularly donates blood, i love this new feature from facebook! if you're eligible to donate blood it's such an easy way to make a difference, you just lay and eat a lot of snacks! https://t.co/iExX5LsTuz
— Katherine Champagne (@keccers) June 12, 2019
So, how does it all work? Well, now US users can sign up to bee a blood donor through Facebook directly. Simply head to your About section your profile where you should be able to find the option to sign up.
Blood donation centres can then request donations when there is a shortage and send notifications to those nearby who have signed up. You can find requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook.
This work from Facebook can only be great news for blood donor centres in the US. Cliff Numark, senior vice president at American Red Cross, has already shared his gratitude.
He believes this campaign has come at ‘exactly the right time’. That’s because hectic summer schedules often make it ‘extremely challenging’ for blood donors to sign up.
Kate Fry, CEO at America’s Blood Centers, has also shared her pride in the partnership. Quoted in the Facebook blog, she said: “By encouraging blood donation as a way of life, each of us can assure that the more than 30,000 pints of blood used daily throughout the country is available.”
Who can give Blood❓❓
Most people can give blood if they are in good health. There are some basic requirements one needs to fulfill in order to become a blood donor. Visit the link to find out if you are eligible to donate blood: https://t.co/54VrAGUGe1
— WHO Maldives (@WHOMaldives) June 13, 2019
Meanwhile, in concluding the blog post, its author added: “We hope that bringing the Blood Donations feature to the US will make people more aware of the ongoing need for donations and that communities come together to help ensure everyone has access to safe blood when they need it.
To read Facebook’s blog post about World Blood Donor Day in full, click here.
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