Facebook wants to help blood donors in India connect with patients and hospitals

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To address India’s shortage of safe blood and to celebrate National Blood Donor Day, Facebook is taking initiatives to help locate nearby blood requests.

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August 10, 2017

Technology is a wonderful thing: we can store millions of photos without a physical hard drive, take DSLR-like photos with our phones, and talk face-to-face with loved ones even from the opposite side of the earth. But technology is particularly inspirational when it’s applied to address important social issues. Take India’s blood shortage problem, for example. According to the data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the country faced a 17 percent shortage in clean blood during 2013 and 2014, which improved just ever-so-slightly the following year. That could pose a huge problem for patients getting procedures like coronary bypasses and other operations that require a lot of blood.

Well, Facebook wants to help: more specifically, it wants to use its huge presence in India to help connect blood donors with those in need of blood and nearby hospitals. According to the social network giant, users will be able to sign up to be donors on the mobile version of Facebook as well as on the Android app starting October 1, to coincide with National Blood Donor Day. Any information regarding blood donation will be private and set to “only me” by default.

Users will be able to sign up to be donors on the mobile version of Facebook as well as on the Android app starting October 1.

This way, people who are in need of blood – individuals or hospitals – will be able to create posts and notify nearby donors of things like where the blood is needed, for what reasons, and which type. Hema Budaraju, head of Facebook programs in South Asia, hopes that this will facilitate the way people volunteer to become donors and potentially save lives:

By raising awareness and growing the number of blood donors in India, we want to make it easier for people and organizations to give and receive blood.

If you are in India, you can head on over here to sign up to be a donor.

What other instances are there where tech companies have stepped up to address crucial social issues? Do you think Facebook’s initiative will help make a difference? Let us know by leaving a comment below!