Chances are that you have come across the option to register as a blood donor on Facebook. This is all part of the social media network’s efforts to ensure that people can easily connect to a blood donor in case of an emergency.
The campaign was first launched in India in 2017 following which it came to be introduced around the world. The initiative has resulted in as many as 22 million people getting registered as donors in India alone. In addition to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Brazil too showed high numbers of donors being registered.
India faces a significant dearth of voluntary donors. While most blood banks don’t charge a fee for issuing blood, charges come into the picture because the blood must be screened and tested appropriately before it can be deemed fit for use.
“A significant number of people suffer from not being able to access a blood donor. Hospitals and blood banks are always in need of blood donors to ensure that blood is available for patients who may require it, however, there is not always an effective network of donors in place to be able to reach someone when you do need blood. This is where our work comes in,” explains Ankur Mehra, Head, Media Partner Development at Facebook to TNM.
With Facebook’s initiatives, over 150 blood banks in the country are interconnected to a network of donors.
“In the past, there have been several networks of donors, but they have largely been limited to one specific locality or region. What we are doing at Facebook is trying to expand that network so that donors and recipients can be connected at all times,” he adds.
Facebook users can now go to their profiles and become registered blood donors. Should anyone in their vicinity require blood, the network can be tapped into in order to get a donor. In addition, those looking for a blood donor can also post their requirements on the platform. Potential donors with the matching criteria are then notified, after which the donor and individual can connect to determine what needs to be done further.