Facebook has announced its partnership with the National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) with the release of a new feature to encourage people to donate blood. Zimbabweans who are between 18-65 years old, now have the option to sign up as blood donors on Facebook, get notified when blood donor centres near them have an urgent need for donations and invite friends to donate.
With Zimbabwe being the eighth country in Africa where Facebook has launched this feature, this initiative comes at a crucial time as the pandemic is now widespread, resulting in the country starting to see a significant drop in blood donations due to people staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, despite the World Health Organization saying it is still safe to donate blood.
This is an important partnership with the NBSZ and a necessary step that we believe will make a positive difference to the blood donation ecosystem in Zimbabwe
Since its launch in 2017, Facebook has partnered with blood donation centres around the world, with more than 70 million people having signed up to be blood donors on Facebook. The feature is available in the following countries in Africa: Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Niger and South Africa, with 45 000 people signing up as donors in South Africa within the first month of the launch.
Commenting on the partnership, Kojo Boakye, Public Policy Director Facebook Africa said: “We are committed to building safe and supportive communities on Facebook during these challenging times. It is crucial to make it easy to connect people that want to donate with the opportunity to give, whilst learning about the blood donation centres around them and hopefully inspiring action within their communities. This is an important partnership with the National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) and a necessary step that we believe will make a positive difference to the blood donation ecosystem in Zimbabwe.”
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NBSZ Spokesperson and Public Affairs Manager Ms Esther Massundah said “The challenges brought by COVID-19 have necessitated the need for NBSZ to embrace new ways of blood donor mobilization. The partnership with Facebook Africa is also in line with the organization’s efforts of collaborating with value-added partners. Facebook is very popular with our blood donors and through this new platform, they will also be able to assist in the recruitment of new donors by inviting their family and friends through this new application to scheduled blood drives in the different communities.”
Donating blood to National Blood Service Zimbabwe through Facebook?
People between the ages of 18 to 65 in Zimbabwe can sign up to be a blood donor on Facebook by going to Blood Donations in the About section of your profile, or access the link: Facebook.com/donateblood. People will be able to see requests and opportunities to donate on Blood Donations on Facebook on their mobile devices from nearby donation sites.
For blood donors
Blood Donations on Facebook notifies you about blood banks near you that need blood donors. If you’re 18 to 65, you may see information about Blood Donations in your News Feed.
- Sign up to be a blood donor.
- See which nearby blood organizations need blood donors.
- Set reminders.
- Invite family and friends to sign up as blood donors.
For blood organizations
- If your organization needs donations for specific blood types or platelets, you can mention it in your post so people know when they’re most needed.
- Posts from your Page will appear in the News Feed of all of your Page followers and for nearby people who have registered to receive updates on donating blood from Facebook.
- Your post can include a scheduling button for people to schedule a donation with a phone call or by going to your organization’s website.
- If you create a post from Facebook on your computer, you’ll have the option to add a scheduling button to your post.
- If you create a post from Facebook on your mobile device, a scheduling button will automatically appear on your post. You’ll have the option to remove the button after you post.
To register your organization:
If you signed up and no longer want to participate, learn how to remove your organization from blood donations on Facebook.
About National Blood Service Zimbabwe
NBSZ formerly know as The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) was then formed and registered as a non-profit making organisation in May 1989.In 2005 the organization was renamed from National Blood Transfusion Service to National Blood Service Zimbabwe.
NBSZ is mandated by the ministry of Health and Child Welfare to collect, process and distribute safe adequate blood and blood products.
This is achieved through:
- Collection of blood from voluntary non-remunerated donors as embodied in the Code of Ethics and Principles of Blood Donation and Transfusion of the ISBT (General Assembly ISBT I12: 2000).
- Testing protocols that ensure blood donated is safe for transfusion (Transfusion Transmissible Infections and blood group).
- Processing of blood into various components.
- Testing of donated units for compatibility to patient.
National Blood Service Zimbabwe Contact Details
53 Mazowe Street North, Belgravia
Tel: +263 04 251851/4/5/6
Cell: +263 772 162 279 – 85
For more information, please visit the official website here