Facebook is launching Blood Donations on its platform, a new center where people in India can find opportunities to donate nearby. The announcement of ‘Blood Donations’ center in India comes on the occasion of World Blood Donor day.
The social media giant has announced partnership with National Blood Transfusion Council and Giants Welfare Foundation to set up over 2,000 blood donation events across the country. These events will be featured in the new Blood Donation center throughout this month. It says blood donations are typically at their lowest during May and June in countries like India. The new initiative is aimed to increase awareness of the shortage and the need for donations.
“Creating blood donation events on Facebook can enable voluntary blood donors by giving them easy access to information and also help raise awareness for regular blood donations, especially in our country which faces blood shortage. Our own efforts to ensure adequate and safe blood transfusion services in the country will receive a boost from these events. Additionally, this will also help us retain and engage regular donors,” said Dr Shobhini Rajan, Assistant Director General at Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
Facebook says the new ‘Blood Donation’ campaign will also include stories of people who have helped save lives using the blood donation feature on the platform. The ‘Blood Donations’ center feature was first showcased at company’s annual developer conference F8 and it is being designed as a way for people to donate blood in their city.
It also comes with options like requests for blood donors and blood banks. People who visit ‘Blood Donations’ on Facebook can also sign up to be a blood donor and get notified directly when there is a need for blood nearby. “We know that when donors have information and opportunities to give, they step up to help. But often donors don’t know where and when to donate. Blood Donations on Facebook aims to bridge these gaps by providing information on the opportunities available nearby,” said Hema Budaraju, Product Lead, Health, Facebook.
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Facebook has over 2.2 billion active users globally and it is estimated to have over 270 million users in India. It has the potential to connect blood donors with recipients with a simple user interface. The feature accessible via explore menu on the app has signed up more than 11 million people in countries including India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and has facilitated thousands of donations.