More than 11 million Bangladeshis have signed up to receive notifications with opportunities to donate blood so far since the Facebook's Blood Donations feature was launched in Bangladesh in 2018.
This was a collaboration between Facebook and the ICT Division of Bangladesh to connect people to their local blood banks, so they know where there is a shortage and when it is safe to donate, reads a press release on Monday.
As countries around the world continue to grapple with the ongoing pandemic, blood banks are in urgent need of blood donors. In conjunction with World Blood Donor Day this year, Facebook has partnered with Bloodman to urge more people in Bangladesh to become blood donors and encourage friends and family to do the same.
Globally, over 100 million people have signed up to be blood donors on Facebook since this feature was launched in 2017. In response to urgent blood shortages during the pandemic, it was scaled up to 26 countries in the past year.
"At Facebook, we are trying to build online communities for positive impact. During the pandemic, Facebook has worked with Bloodman and blood banks around the country to ensure people continue to have safe access to blood. This World Blood Donor Day, we encourage more Bangladeshis to sign up, donate blood to their nearest blood banks and motivate others," said Sabhanaz Rashid Diya, who leads public policy for Bangladesh at Facebook.
People in Bangladesh can play a role in raising awareness about the importance of donating and help build a reliable and sustainable supply of blood in the country. To better support community-based blood collection, Facebook also introduced a way for blood banks to share their mobile drives via Facebook Events, increasing their visibility to nearby, potential donors.
"Hospitals and blood banks across Bangladesh have been facing challenges in collecting blood because of the pandemic. At this time, Facebook's Blood Donations tool has made it easier for blood banks to digitise their services and connect with potential blood donors," said Syed Mujibul Huq, additional secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
"We thank Bloodman and Facebook for digitising the blood donations system and raising awareness about donating. Patients in hospitals can now use this technology to receive care swiftly during the Covid-19 pandemic," the official added.
To receive notifications from blood banks near you about donating, go to the Blood Donations feature in the About section of your Facebook profile. For more information, visit http://facebook.com/donateblood.