Facebook in partnership with the National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) have announced 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.
Continuing a tradition
Since 2017, Facebook has partnered with blood donation centres around the world, with more than 70 million people having signed up to be blood donors via 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.
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.
NBSZ Spokesperson and Public Affairs Manager Ms Esther Massundah said
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. People will be able to see requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook on their mobile devices from nearby donation sites.