Facebook in partnership with the National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) announce a new feature to encourage people to donate blood. Starting today, Zimbabweans who are between 18-65 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 Zimbabwe being the eighth country in Africa where Facebook has launched this feature, this initiative comes at a crucial time as the pandemic is now widespread, resulting in the country starting to see a significant drop in blood donations due to people staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, despite the World Health Organization saying it is still safe to donate blood.
Since its launch in 2017, Facebook has partnered with blood donation centres around the world, with more than 70 million people having signed up to be blood donors on Facebook. The feature is available in the following countries in Africa: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Niger and South Africa, with 45 000 people signing up as donors in South Africa within the first month of the launch.
Commenting on the partnership, Kojo Boakye, Public Policy Director Facebook Africa said: “We are committed to building safe and supportive communities on Facebook during these challenging times. It is crucial to make it easy to connect people that want to donate with the opportunity to give, whilst learning about the blood donation centres around them and hopefully inspiring action within their communities. This is an important partnership with the National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) and a necessary step that we believe will make a positive difference to the blood donation ecosystem in Zimbabwe.”
NBSZ Spokesperson and Public Affairs Manager Ms Esther Massundah said “The challenges brought by COVID-19 have necessitated the need for NBSZ to embrace new ways of blood donor mobilization. The partnership with Facebook Africa is also in line with the organization’s efforts of collaborating with value-added partners. Facebook is very popular with our blood donors and through this new platform, they will also be able to assist in the recruitment of new donors by inviting their family and friends through this new application to scheduled blood drives in the different communities.”
How It Works
People between the ages of 18 – 65 in Zimbabwe 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: www.Facebook.com/donateblood. People will be able to see requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook on their mobile devices from nearby donation sites.