Facebook has announced it will be partnering up with the SANBS and the Western Cape Blood Service to encourage people to donate blood. File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Facebook has announced it will be partnering up with the SANBS and the Western Cape Blood Service to encourage people to donate blood. File picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Facebook joins forces with SANBS, Western Cape Blood Service to help increase blood donations

By Yasmine Jacobs Time of article published May 19, 2020

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Facebook will be partnering with the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) and the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) to encourage people to donate blood.

South Africans over the age of 18 will have the option to sign up as blood donors on Facebook. They will then be notified when blood donor centres near them have an urgent need for donations. Facebook users can also invite friends to donate.

South Africa is the first African country in which Facebook has launched this feature. This initiative comes at a crucial time as the country starts to see a significant drop in blood donations due to physical distancing and people staying home to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This is despite the World Health Organization saying it is still safe to donate blood.

“We want to make it easy to connect people that want to donate with opportunities to give, while learning about the blood donation opportunities near them and inspiring action. This is an important partnership with SANBS and the Western Cape Blood Service, and one which we believe will make a positive difference to blood giving here in South Africa," said regional director at Facebook Africa, Nunu Ntshingila.

Silungile Mlambo, chief marketing officer at SANBS, added: “We face a number of challenges with regard to the collection of blood each year. This year, the pandemic brought us a new challenge. 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.”

This is 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 your profile. Alternatively access the link: facebook.com/donateblood. 

People will be able to see requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook in their mobile devices to over 80 blood donation sites.

IOL TECH

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