Facebook unveils blood donation feature in India, starts from October 1

Facebook unveils blood donation feature in India, starts from October 1. Photo: Twitter

California/United States, September 29: Facebook is rolling out a new feature that would allow individuals and blood banks to connect with donors.The feature is designed for India and would go live on October 1. According to reliable sources, Facebook will show a message on user’s News Feed to encourage them to sign up as a donor.

The users would be asked to share their blood group and whether they have donated blood before. In case someone is in need of blood, they will be able to create a special type of post containing the information donors need. The information required to provide would be like blood group required, hospital’s name and contact person’s phone number.

According to official sources, Ritesh mehta who is the Head of Programs for Facebook south Asia said that “India like many countries has shortage of safe blood. We noticed many times that people turn to platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook to find donors.”  Ritesh Mehta further mentioned that “Thousands of people seek blood donors on Facebook every week. This new tool is designed to make it more efficient by bringing blood donors and people in need together.”

Hema Budaraju, the Facebook Product manger (Health) said that the donor information would be private and set to only me by default unless people choose it to share their donor status on their timelines. Hema Budaraju further mentioned that the feature to be available on Android and mobile web is rolling out for the first time in India. She told that people and organisations like blood banks, hospitals in Delhi and Hyderabad can connect with blood donors on Facebook.

This facility will also be extended to other cities in the next few weeks. Once a  request is created, then Facebook will notify the blood donors who are near to the location. Donors can then contact the requester directly through WhatsApp, Messenger or a phone call. But, the donor’s information will not be available to the requester unless the donor himself/herself provides it.  Hema Budaraju added that “As part of our research, we spoke to blood banks, hospitals, NGOs and industry experts to understand the challenges. This step is also to raise awareness about blood donation in the country.