Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Facebook joins NZ Blood Service race for donations

New Zealand’s Facebook users can now sign up to be notified of opportunities nearby to give blood and plasma, thanks to the launch of Facebook’s Blood Donations feature in partnership with New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS). 

It comes as NZBS appeals to New Zealanders to save a life this summer and not wait to book an appointment to donate. 

Across the warmer months, NZBS still needs to collect more than 4,000 blood and plasma donations every week to meet demand.

With only 4% of the eligible population in New Zealand currently donating, it is hoped that Facebook’s Blood Donations feature will help make blood donation more visible and accessible to Facebook’s community of nearly three million New Zealanders.

Available from today, Facebook users in New Zealand aged between 18 and 65 can sign up to receive notifications about opportunities to donate blood at local donation centres, and even link directly to the appointment website to schedule a donation.

“Every 18 minutes in New Zealand someone will experience an ‘unseen emergency’ and need lifesaving blood and plasma,” says National Marketing and Communications Manager at NZBS, Asuka Burge.

“That’s about 30,000 Kiwis every year whose lives are saved and improved by blood and plasma donors.

“To ensure we are able to continue to meet demand, every week we have over 4,000 appointments to fill, and there are over 300 places to donate blood throughout the year. We know one barrier to donation is often knowing where and how to donate, so we are calling on all eligible Kiwis, no matter where in New Zealand they’re enjoying their summer holiday break, to sign up to the Facebook Blood Donations feature to receive updates about giving blood and notifications about opportunities to donate near you. Encourage your Facebook friends and family to do the same, and help us save lives together.”

Since the launch of the Blood Donations feature in 2017, more than 100 million Facebook users have signed up globally to receive notifications from nearby blood donation centres about opportunities to donate, increasing blood donations around the world and helping maintain blood supplies during COVID-19.

“We are proud to support NZ Blood’s vital work in helping encourage Kiwis to give blood, especially at a time when its donation targets continue to grow and it needs more donors than ever before to ensure it can continue to meet demand. Our Blood Donations feature allows Facebook users to register to receive notifications about donating, and blood donor centres to raise awareness about blood needs among people nearby,” says Head of Public Policy for Meta New Zealand and Pacific Islands, Nick McDonnell.

“During the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen many Kiwis come together on Facebook to help each other, for example by offering support to others in Facebook Groups.

“This product launching today is another way New Zealanders can come together and use our services to learn about how and where they can donate blood,” he said.

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