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Facebook: 8m Bangladeshis sign up as voluntary blood donors in 2 years

  • Published at 10:19 am June 18th, 2020
the blood

It is more important than ever to sign up to be a blood donor on Facebook amid Covid-19

Showing a growing interest in blood donation for the ones in need, over 8 million Bangladeshis have signed up with Facebook’s Blood Donation feature as voluntary blood donors over the last two years.

Facebook Head of Policy Programs South and Central Asia Shelley Thakral made the disclosure at a virtual on-record group interview session among the ICT Ministry, Bloodman BD and Facebook on Thursday morning. 

The group interview was organized in view of the World Blood Donors’ Day on 14th June this year. The theme for the Blood Donors’ Day this year is “Safe Blood Saves Lives.”

“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, almost eight million people have done so, till date,” she said.

“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,” she added. 

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 of such partners, Bloodman Bangladesh, who saw a 37% growth in blood donors since they started using the tool in 2018.

While replying to a question, Thakral said poor connectivity in many rural areas, lack of digital literacy and knowing the relevance of the feature with them are driving to create challenges in reaching people. 

Founder and Chairman of Bloodman Bangladesh Sahariar Hasan Jiisun said people understand the need for blood. 

“But they do not realize the mental position of those in dire need for blood. If only, people could realize the scenario, the number of blood donors would have been higher in the country,” Shahriar said.

State Minister for ICT Affairs Zunaid Ahmed Palak said: “80% of the demands for blood meet through the donors in the country.”

“When the first Covid-19 case was identified in the country we started working in an integrated way.”

“On March 20 we held a digital press conference where we proposed a health continuity plan, education continuity plan, connectivity continuity plan, logistic and entertainment continuity plan which were granted by the prime Minister on March 23,” Zunaid said. 

Since then, more than 30 health startups have been working with ICT on telemedicine, medicine supply and ensuring other health services, he added. 

He also offered to provide technical and financial services to launch any apps that would be available at the” iOS or “Google Play” platforms. 

Besides, Zunaid also suggested Facebook to include chatbot to the blood donation feature so that it can facilitate the people to be more engaged in the facilities.     

He also said that he will work with Health Ministry to make a bridge among Bloodman and public and private hospitals and clinic so that those in need of blood can easily find donors

According to the World Health Organization, every two seconds, someone, somewhere is in need of a blood transfusion to save their lives. Millions of lives depend on regular access to safe blood to improve their health and quality of life.

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