Facebook partners with NamBTS and MOHSS to boost blood donations

14 October 2020 | Health

Facebook in partnership with the Namibian Blood Transfusion Service (NamBTS) and Ministry of Health and Social Services, launched a new feature to encourage people to donate blood.

As from today, Namibians who are between 18 and 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.

People can register to start donating blood from 16-years-old with the NamBTS but the tool is only available to Facebook users from the age of 18.

The feature, which was also launched in Chad, Guinea and Mali today, making it available in 12 countries across Africa, is already available in 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 critical 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 Organisation saying it is still safe to donate blood.

Life changing partnership

Commenting on the partnership, Kojo Boakye, the Public Policy Director for Facebook Africa said that 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.

“We recognised the role Facebook can play in connecting people that want to donate blood with opportunities to do so. The partnership with NamBTS and the MOHSS is an important one will enable Namibians to make a positive impact to the blood donation ecosystem in the country.”

Zita Tobin the manager for donor recruitment and PR for NamBTS said the organisation is 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 age of 18 and 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.

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