Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC) Safe Blood Transfusion Programme (SBTP) urged people to donate blood and contribute to a more sustainable blood supply for the country.
“The global pandemic has been a reminder that it is more important than ever to accelerate voluntary blood donations across Pakistan. One of the ways to do it is to take advantage of Facebook’s Blood Donation feature where people can easily sign up to be a blood donor and encourage others to do the same. By taking one small step, together, we will be able to build a stable and safe supply of blood to address these needs and deliver life-changing impact to countless individuals and families across Pakistan,” said Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health.
Since Facebook launched its Blood Donations feature two years ago, over five million people in Pakistan have signed up as voluntary blood donors, to date. In April alone, the social media platform has had over 100,000 active registered blood donors. These donors have either set a reminder or called a blood bank indicating intent to donate.
“We know that when donors have information and opportunities to give, they step up to help. Coronavirus has led to blood shortages around the world, including in Pakistan, due to shelter in place orders limiting the ability for people to donate. Blood Donations on Facebook shows people opportunities to donate, including requests from blood donors and blood banks. We believe access to safe blood is a matter of life and together we can create a sustainable blood supply for the country,” said Sarim Aziz, Head of Public Policy, Pakistan.
The Safe Blood Transfusion Programme launched a pilot of Facebook’s Blood Donations feature in five hospital blood banks in major cities in Pakistan. Over the course of six months, each pilot blood bank implemented a donor questionnaire and tracked key metrics such as registrations, phone calls, visits and donations. The results not only demonstrated the efficacy of the tool in increasing voluntary donations, but also provided SBTP with insights on how to maximize donor outreach.
“Facebook has provided Pakistan with an effective blood donation feature that is helping bring a paradigm shift from reliance on family replacement donations to 100% regular voluntary donations,” said Dr. Hasan Abbas Zaheer, Former National Coordinator, Safe Blood Transfusion Programme Government of Pakistan.