The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has announced a partnership with Facebook and the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS). They hope this will allow them to encourage and increase blood donations.
On Monday, 18 May, SANBS said in a statement: “Starting today, South Africans who are over 18 years old, will have the option to 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 country in Africa to receive this feature from the tech giant. SANBS said the intiative “comes at a crucial time as the country starts to see a significant drop in blood donations as a result of people staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, despite health institutions like the World Health Organization saying it is still safe to donate blood.”
The feature was first launched in 2017. Facebook has partnered with blood donation centres in the US, Brazil, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and over 60 million people have signed up to donate via the social media site thus far.
“We face a number of challenges with regard to the collection of blood each year. This year, the pandemic brought us a new challenge. We are hopeful that through this tool we will have better reach to all our donors.This will revolutionise the way we connect with our donors, allowing us to work smarter and optimise our resources,” said Silungile Mlambo, Chief Marketing Officer at SANBS.
Here’s how it works:
1. People between the ages of 18–65 in South Africa can sign up to be a blood donor on Facebook by going to Blood Donations in the About section of your profile, or access the link: facebook.com/donateblood.
2. People will be able to see requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook in their mobile devices to over 80 blood donation sites.