Facebook launches NZ blood donations feature

Supplied image.

New Zealand’s Facebook users can now sign up to be notified of opportunities nearby to give blood and plasma.

Facebook has launched a Blood Donations feature in partnership with New Zealand Blood Service.

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

As the sun heats up across the country over the coming months, NZBS will face one of its most challenging periods:

-While the country relaxes, NZBS still needs to collect more than 4000 blood and plasma donations every week to meet this demand.

-More than 7600 Kiwis will need lifesaving blood or plasma over summer. That includes 585 Kiwis in the week leading up to Christmas alone.

-Every day this summer, an estimated 16 Kiwis will have an accident that requires a blood or plasma transfusion.

With only four per cent 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 Asuka Burge, National Marketing and Communications Manager at NZBS.

“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 more than 4000 appointments to fill, and there are more than 300 places to donate blood throughout the year. W

“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 centers 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,” says Nick McDonnell, Head of Public Policy for Meta New Zealand and Pacific Islands.

“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.

“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.”

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