World Blood Donor Day: Digital Initiatives To Stay Connected And Do Good
Today (14 June) is World Blood Donor Day, an international day which aims to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion.
Why is blood donation so important, you ask? Well, according to Singapore Red Cross (SRC), every hour of the day, 15 units of blood are used in Singapore. About 120,000 units of blood is required to meet the transfusion needs of patients every year, equivalent to around 350 - 400 units of blood a day.
In light of this, Singapore Red Cross and Health Sciences Authority (HSA) have launched a series of digital initiatives to recognise the crucial role played by blood donors while empowering Singaporeans to be better connected with SRC.
1. Blood Donor Hall of Fame
As part of SRC's efforts to reach a younger, more technologically-savvy audience amid the ongoing global pandemic, SRC has launched the Blood Donor Hall of Fame, which recognises and honours contributions of over 1,600 blood donors to the National Blood Programme.
According to Benjamin William, Secretary General and CEO of SRC, Singapore's population of blood donors has grown from more than 41,000 in 2001 to over 72,000 donors in 2020, representing a whopping 72% increase over the last two decades.
2. Facebook Blood Donation
SRC and HSA have partnered with Facebook on a new Facebook Blood Donation feature, which will connect people who want to donate blood with opportunities to do so. This feature empowers Singaporeans to stay connected with SRC for real-time information such as ad-hoc opportunities to donate blood so they can contribute to building a more stable and sufficient blood supply.
Here's how it works:
- Users interested in volunteering as a blood donor can sign up to receive notifications on Facebook by going to Blood Donations in the About section of their profile. When donors are needed, notifications will be sent to those nearby who have signed up. Users will also be able to view requests and opportunities to donate on http://facebook.com/donateblood.
- Blood banks like SRC can also share their blood mobile drives via Facebook Events to improve visibility to potential donors and better support community-based blood collection.
3. IG filter game, say hi to Blood Buddy and more
SRC has also rolled out several social media activations to engage with the public, including:
- Themed sticker packs on Whatsapp and Telegram
- A themed Facebook profile frame
In addition, Blood Buddy, SRC's official blood donation mascot, now has his own IG account (@heybloodbuddy), where he'll be sharing bite-sized content and facts about blood donation.