Maharashtra to use Facebook tool to steer blood donation drive

As part of its efforts to overcome the shortage of blood during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Maharashtra health department on Monday said it decided to make use of a Facebook tool to strengthen blood donation drive in the state.

In India, more than 45 million people have registered themselves as blood donors on Facebook, the social media giant said.

Maharashtra took the step to use social media to drive blood donation through the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) after blood stock in the state declined during the Covid-19 lockdown.

During the lockdown, blood donation camps were not organised on a large scale to avoid crowds and prevent corona infection.

“Now the lockdown in the state has been relaxed in some manner. Blood donation feature on Facebook will be used along with the blood donation camps, being organised by social organisations to meet blood requirements and to help the needy patients of other ailments as well as corona patients” Pradip Vyas, Principal Secretary of the state health department said in a statement.

He further informed that in this initiative, about 71 government blood banks across the state will be trained to use the blood donation feature on Facebook.

“We are committed to bringing people and communities together through our platform,” said Manish Chopra, Director and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India.

“The global pandemic has been a strong reminder that it is more important than ever to sign up to be a blood donor on Facebook, stay up-to-date about local blood needs and learn about safe ways to donate blood.”