In order to overcome the shortage of blood in the blood banks during the COVID-19 period, the health department of Maharashtra has decided to use the blood donation feature on Facebook to strengthen the blood donation drive.
The step to use social media has been taken through the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC). "Blood donation feature on Facebook will be used along with the blood donation camps that is being organised by social organisations to meet blood requirements and to help the needy patients of other ailments as well as corona patients," said Dr. Pradip Vyas, Principal Secretary of Health Department.
He further informed about 71 government blood banks across the state will be trained to use the blood donation feature on Facebook. This service will be available to blood banks in the future as well. So, they can get access to registered donors in their city by simply creating a request from their Facebook page. In India, more than 45 million people have registered themselves as blood donors on Facebook.
Blood stock in Maharashtra saw a declining trend since the lockdown. But blood donation camps were not organised on a large scale to avoid crowds and prevent spread of COVID-19 infection. However, blood donation camps were held in some places in the state keeping in mind social distancing.
Commenting on this initiative, Manish Chopra, Director and Head of Partnerships, Facebook India said, “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.”