Today, Facebook is launching a blood donations feature in Bangladesh to make it easier for people to sign up to be blood donors and to help people and organizations in need. Bangladesh, like many countries, has a shortage of safe blood. In some cases, this shortage causes patients and their families to be responsible for finding donors to replace the blood they receive from blood banks or hospitals. This can cause high-stress situations as people try to find blood donors on their own — including by reaching out to their network on Facebook.
This is where Facebook can help by finding ways to more efficiently bring blood donors, people and organizations together. We have worked together with nonprofit organizations, health industry experts, potential donors and people who have used Facebook to find blood donors to ensure that this feature was designed to be useful to people. We recently launched a similar tool in India, where more than 6 million people have signed up to be blood donors on Facebook.
Making It Easier to Become a Blood Donor
Starting today, people using Facebook in Bangladesh will be able to sign up to be blood donors. To sign up, people can edit their profiles to let others know that they are willing to donate blood or visit facebook.com/donateblood. To help encourage participation, we’ll show a message in News Feed or people can edit their Profiles to sign up. All information will remain private and set to Only Me by default, but people can choose to share their donor status more widely. This feature will be available on Android, iOS and www.
Connecting People and Organizations with Blood Donors
In the next few weeks, we’ll make it easier for people and organizations, such as blood banks and hospitals, to connect with blood donors on Facebook.
• When people are seeking donations, they will be able to create special posts to spread the word. Facebook will automatically notify blood donors who may be nearby to help. Donors can then review the request and, if they wish to respond, contact the requester directly through a phone call. The requester won’t be able to see any information about the donor, unless the donor explicitly provides it when he or she replies.
• When organizations are hosting a blood camp event in Bangladesh, they will be able to create an event on Facebook and nearby blood donors can be notified. Donors can review the event and indicate if they’re going or interested.
We hope by raising awareness and growing the number of blood donors in Bangladesh, we can make it easier for people and organizations to give and receive blood in ways that weren’t possible before.
People in Bangladesh can go to facebook.com/donateblood to learn more and sign up to be a blood donor. For organizations interested in using the blood donations feature, contact us here.
By Hema Budaraju, Product Lead, Health, and Ritesh Mehta, Head of Programs, South Asia