To encourage its 217 million users in India donate blood for the needy, Facebook on Thursday launched a new blood donations centre on its platform that shows people opportunities to donate in their city, including nearby blood donation events, requests for blood donors and blood banks. Marking the World Blood Donor Day, the new centre that was announced at the F8 developers' conference in San Jose in May this year, can be accessed from the explore menu on the device. People who visit "Blood Donations centre" on Facebook can also sign up to be a blood donor and get notified directly when there is a need for blood nearby. "We know that when donors have information and opportunities to give, they step up to help. But often donors don't know where and when to donate," Hema Budaraju, Product Lead, Health, Facebook said in a statement.
The networking giant had in October, last year, rolled out a tool, wherein Facebook users in India could sign up to be blood donors. By January, more than six million in India people had signed up as blood donors, making it the largest online blood registry in the country.
Currently, over 11 million people have signed up in countries including India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and thousands of donations have been facilitated through Facebook, the company said. "Blood Donations on Facebook aims to bridge these gaps by providing information on the opportunities available nearby. We hope that by raising awareness and letting people know where and when they can donate, we can increase blood donations and contribute to a more sustainable blood supply," she added.
The social media giant has also announced new partnership with organisations across the country, including the National Blood Transfusion Council, a division of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), and Giants Welfare Foundation -- a non-profit. As part of the partnership, Facebook has set up over 2,000 blood donation events this month which will be featured in the new Blood Donation centre. In addition, Facebook is also running a campaign through the month of June to encourage people to donate blood and educate people about the process of donating blood.
The campaign will include stories of people who have helped saved lives using our blood donation features."Creating blood donation events on Facebook can enable voluntary blood donors by giving them easy access to information and also help raise awareness for regular blood donations, especially in our country which faces blood shortage," added Shobhini Rajan, Assistant Director General at Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).