The Facebook Vice President of Asia-Pacific – Simon Milner and his team are on a weeklong tour to Pakistan. During their tour they also visited the Jamila Sultana Foundation Blood Bank in Islamabad.
Earlier this year in order to help make safe blood more accessible in Pakistan to all licensed blood banks and hospitals, Facebook had launched Blood Donations in the country. The blood donation too helps people to sign up to be blood donors on Facebook and get notified when people, blood banks, and hospitals near them need blood.
Facebook has an ongoing partnership with SBTP (Safe Blood Authority) to train blood banks on how to find volunteers donors through Facebook. The tool has launched in March and already has more than 1 million donors have signed up to donate blood in Pakistan using Facebook’s Blood Donations. According to sources, 25% of the walk in donations comes from Facebook to Foundation.
Simon Milner, Vice President of Public Policy, Facebook Asia Pacific speaking on the occasion said,
“Connecting people in meaningful ways is incredibly important to us. Pakistan, like many countries, has a shortage of safe blood. In some cases, this shortage means patients and their families are responsible for finding donors to replace the blood they receive from blood banks or hospitals. This is where Facebook can help, by finding ways to more efficiently bring blood donors, people and organizations together. Our research suggests that when people have better information and tools, they’re more willing to donate blood and it’s easier for people who need blood to find donors. We hope this product continues to help people come together in ways that weren’t possible before, and makes it easier for people and organizations in Pakistan to give and receive blood.”
Tauqir Abbas, Project Director at the Jamila Sultana Foundation, commented on the visit by the Facebook delegation, saying:
“It was a pleasure and honour to have Mr Simon Milner, visit Jamila Sultana Foundation to help raise awareness of the rising challenge of thalassemia in Pakistan which affectsover 100,000 patients every year and this number is increasing due to millions of carriers and lack of awareness. Only prevention can help deal with this disease and Facebook has been an effective tool for us to help raise awareness and to increase our walk-in donors using the new Facebook Blood donation feature.” Said .