Facebook, the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) and the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) are working together to encourage people to donate blood.
Starting on Monday, 18 May 2020, 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.
With South Africa being the first African country that Facebook has launched this feature, this initiative 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.
How It Works
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 their profile, or access the link: facebook.com/donateblood.
They will then be able to see requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook in their mobile devices to over 80 blood donation sites.
“We face a number of challenges with regard to the collection of blood each year. This year, the pandemic brought us a new challenge,” says Silungile Mlambo, CMO at SANBS.
“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.”
Since its launch in 2017, Facebook has partnered with blood donation centres around the world, with more than 60 million people having signed up to be blood donors on Facebook in the US, Brazil, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
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