MASVINGO –The National Blood Service Zimbabwe (NBSZ) has partnered Facebook in a bid to improve communication between the organisation and its blood donors.
Under the arrangement, people sign up as blood donors and get notifications when their donations are required.
The development was announced during a virtual press conference held today.
NBSZ spokesperson, Esther Masundah said during the Press Conference that the partnership will counter the effects of Covid-19 on blood donations.
“The feature allows people to sign up as blood donors and get notifications when their donations are needed to bolster the national blood bank. The donations will be done at donation centers near them or when the mobile donation teams visit their areas,” said Masundah.
Facebook Africa public policy director Kojo Boakye and NBSZ CEO Lucy Zivhu also attended the press conference.
Seventy five percent of blood donors in Zimbabwe are school children and schools have been closed since March when the lockdown began thereby severely affecting the national blood bank.
Zimbabwe becomes the eighth country in Africa to implement the project after Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Kenya, Niger, South Africa and Cote D’Ivoire. A total of 45 000 people signed up as donors in a month in South Africa.
“We are beginning with provincial activations of the feature. Anyone aged between 16-65 can sign up for blood donation. Facebook consulted the World Health Organization (WHO) in the development of this feature.
“We are working towards partnering corporates and telecommunication companies in regards to data for donors when we are targeting a specific region. Facebook is a popular feature among the population and we are sure our donor numbers will increase,” said Masundah.
Boakye said his organization is dedicated to supporting and building communities which impact lives.
Knowledge Chauke, a blood donor applauded NBSZ and Facebook for the feature and said it will allow the blood donor community to grow while involving the youth who are active on Facebook. https://masvingomirror.com