THE National Blood Services Zimbabwe (NBSZ), in collaboration with Facebook Africa, have launched a Blood Donations feature tool that will enable the public to access blood donor services on the social media platform.
Features of the application connect people wanting to donate blood, keep blood donors informed about blood services in particular communities and enable appeals for blood in times of shortages to be made.
The public affairs manager for NBSZ, Ms Esther Massundah, said their goal is to reach out and recruit blood donors during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, enhance awareness on the organisation’s donation activities.
She added that due to an unprecedented effects of the pandemic around the globe, the feature is meant to also deal with the demand for blood services that had been noticed on the Facebook platform.
“Covid-19 has shown the need to come up with more innovative ways of recruiting blood donors in an environment where people are encouraged to stay at home.
“Blood donation is required even during a pandemic and the Facebook platform will be able to help us reach out to the donors and it is a popular platform used by our blood donors,” she said.
Zimbabwe is now the eighth country in Africa, the second in Southern Africa after South Africa, to launch the Facebook blood donations feature.
Facebook noted that over 70 million people have signed up for this feature.
Facebook Africa public policy director, Mr Kojo Boakye, said Zimbabwe joins countries like the United States, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, among others, to use the feature to ensure access to blood services.
NSBZ engaged Facebook Africa in May this year expressing interest in the Blood Donations feature tool. By August Facebook confirmed that Zimbabwe was ready to launch the initiative.