According to the World Health Organisation, someone somewhere needs blood to save life every two seconds. Besides, patients battling cancer or people with blood disorders like Thalassemia also depend on regular access to safe blood, reads a press release on Thursday.
Thalassemia is a concern for almost 10 - 12 per cent of Bangladesh's population, with approximately 10,000 children every year being diagnosed with the disease.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to blood shortages around the world due to movement restriction orders limiting the ability of people to donate. Most blood banks in Bangladesh have been experiencing blood shortages since late March, it adds.
Voluntary blood donors are essential to a safe and reliable blood supply, and help ensure that our health systems are prepared to respond in times of crisis, said Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister, ICT Division.
"The blood donation feature on Facebook is a useful tool for conducting widespread outreach to donors across the country who are willing to donate. It is also one of the fastest and easiest ways to let donors know of critical blood needs in areas outside of Dhaka," he said.
He continued, "I strongly encourage everyone to take part by signing up to be a donor on Facebook, or encourage someone to donate on your behalf to ensure that everyone, everywhere can access safe blood."
"The voluntary blood donation crisis is not a myth in Bangladesh ─ it is still a struggle for people to get access to safe blood. In a country with a population of over 160 million, the key challenge in this space is a lack of communication between seeker and donor, said Md Sahariar Hasan Jiisun, Founder and Chairman, Bloodman Bangladesh, reads the statement.
"In this regard, Facebook has played a crucial role in connecting the two. It made finding donors easier, including donors for platelets for dengue patients and plasma for C-19 patients. I urge everyone to do their part in closing the blood shortage gap by donating blood at a blood bank closest to you," he added.
Since Facebook launched its Blood Donations feature two years ago, over 70 million people globally have signed up as voluntary blood donors. In Bangladesh alone, over eight million people have done so, till date. Facebook's local partners have also reported a significant increase in the number of voluntary blood donors through the use of its blood donation feature.
One example being Bloodman Bangladesh who saw a 37% growth in blood donors since they started using the tool in 2018, according to the press statement.
Bloodman - Bangladesh's first digital blood donation organisation, in partnership with Facebook and the ICT Ministry, is offering free comprehensive training workshops to blood banks in Bangladesh keen to utilise the Facebook blood donation feature, says the press release.
The training will cover how blood banks can connect with donors through the social media platform, based on their needs.
Shelley Thakral, Head of Policy Programmes, South and Central Asia at Facebook, said, "We are committed to bringing people and communities together through our platform. The global pandemic has been a strong reminder that it is more important than ever to sign up to be a blood donor on Facebook, stay up-to-date about local blood needs, learn about safe ways to donate blood in your community and inspire others to give back by giving blood."
To register to be a blood donor on Facebook, click here: http://facebook.com/donateblood.
And more details, is available here- https://socialgood.fb.com/health/blood-donations/, according to the press release.