Voluntary blood donations are a significant part of every country's healthcare system. The impact of blood shortage is being felt across the globe with countries constantly experiencing shortage or difficulties in donor recruitment. Noticing that many people, organizations and blood service providers were using Facebook to help enlist donors and often reaching out to their community for help, Facebook launched the blood donation tool (BDT) in 2017. Since the launch, over 85 million Facebook users globally have signed up to receive notifications from nearby blood banks about opportunities to donate. In India, 52 million have signed up and 1000 blood banks are using the Facebook Blood Donations product.
At the first edition of the Facebook Fuel For India, a virtual event on December 15 to 16, that showcased and celebrated extraordinary stories of grit and resilience, we heard how BDT was leveraged by blood banks to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Dr Ruby Khan, Additional Project Director at the Madhya Pradesh (MP) State Blood Transfusion Council and her team who work with blood banks all across Madhya Pradesh identified the severe shortage of blood during the pandemic. They decided to use Facebook's Blood Donation Tool as a final attempt to bring in voluntary blood donors and the outcome was beyond their imagination.
In conversation with Ishita Anand, Strategic Partnership Manager, Social Impact, Facebook India, Dr Ruby Khan shared how the Blood Donation Tool helped several people in need to find blood during these unprecedented times.
"I think it's so fascinating that just by blood banks putting their request out there is leading to so many more people responding to it. I think just the idea of the way the real-world impact is happening because of the platform is something we strive for as a team.", said Ishita Anand.
Dr Ruby Khan said that she started analysing problems and challenges of blood shortage during the pandemic and took a few steps such as appointing a doctor dedicated to the blood bank and using social media to connect blood banks and donors. "I asked the team to use social media and came across the tool," she said. Citing examples of Annupur and Betul, she explained how the BDT really helped in creating a community of voluntary donors.
These heroes go on to prove that the power of social media can impact the lives of millions around us.
For more such inspiring stories of resilience, visit http://www.facebookfuelforindia.com