In an effort to support the increase in blood donations across Palestine, Facebook has partnered with the Ministry of Health to launch the Facebook Blood Donations feature, encouraging people to donate.
Every few seconds, a person needs a blood transfusion to save their life. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how and where people can give blood, causing countries around the world to experience an acute shortage of voluntary blood donations, leaving millions of people without access to this critical lifeline.
Voluntary blood donors are essential to a safe and reliable blood supply, but people often do not know when, where or how to donate blood.
As part of building safe and supportive communities, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Facebook is launching a new feature in Palestine to help connect blood donation centres to blood donors. The launch of the Blood Donations feature will help drive crucial donations at a time when many blood donation centers have extremely low stocks given the COVID-19 outbreak and with people confined to their homes.
The new tool will make it easier for people to indicate that they are willing to donate blood, by allowing people to sign up to receive notifications about nearby donation opportunities.
Starting September 15, all Facebook users in Palestine between 18-65 years old will be able to sign up on Facebook in order to receive notifications of nearby donation opportunities. Approved blood donation centres will be able to create posts about blood needs that will be shared with people who are signed up to use the Blood Donations feature.
Since the launch of the Blood Donations feature in October 2017, over 100 million people have signed up to receive notifications from nearby blood banks about opportunities to donate on Facebook in more than 35 countries.
Osama al-Najjar, the director-general of supportive medical services at the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry, said:
“Blood transfusion and safe blood is a critical part of public healthcare, and we aim to create a sense of awareness around this subject. By taking part in this campaign, we aim to encourage and increase the rate of voluntary blood donations and help in creating a strategic stockpile of all types of blood and its derivatives to prepare for any emergency.”
Tara Fischbach, Facebook Public Policy Manager in Levant, said:
“Our platform aims to help standardize the blood donation process and encourage people to donate. Voluntary blood donors are essential to a safe and reliable blood supply, but in too many countries, people do not know when, where or how to give blood.
Our initiative will make it easier for people to indicate that they are willing to donate blood, and receive notifications about nearby donation opportunities. We are extremely proud of the support we can provide to blood banks and see this partnership of crucial significance, at such a critical time.”
How It Works
Palestinians between the ages of 18 – 65 can sign up to receive notifications on Facebook about nearby opportunities to donate blood by going to Blood Donations in the About section of their profile, or access the link: facebook.com/donateblood. People will be able to see requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook to 11 blood donation sites.