Facebook in partnership with the Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) and Ministry of Health and Social Services, have launched a new feature to encourage people to donate blood.
Namibians 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.
The feature also launched in Chad, Guinea and Mali today, making it available in 12 countries across Africa. It is already available in the following countries across the region: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Niger, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Since launching in 2017 more than 70 million people have signed up to be blood donors on Facebook through partnerships with blood donation centres around the world.
This initiative comes at a crucial time due to the impact of the pandemic, resulting in countries starting to see a significant drop in blood donations as people stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, despite the World Health Organization saying it is still safe to donate blood.
Commenting on the partnership, Kojo Boakye, Public Policy Director Facebook Africa said: “COVID-19 has changed how and where people can give blood, causing countries around the world to experience shortages of voluntary blood donations at this critical time.
In keeping with our Mission, we recognized the role Facebook can play in connecting people that want to donate blood with opportunities to do so.
The partnership with the Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) and Ministry of Health and Social Services is such an important one. We strongly believe it will enable Namibians to make a positive impact to the blood donation ecosystem in the country.”
Zita Tobin, Manager : Donor Recruitment and PR for NamBTS said: “We are truly excited by the partnership with Facebook the tool will assist us bolster our blood collections during the pandemic and beyond, as only 1% of the population donate blood”
How It Works
People between the ages of 18 – 65 in Namibia 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: www.Facebook.com/donateblood. People will be able to see requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/donateblood) on their mobile devices from nearby donation sites.