Facebook, Blood Donation, feature
Life saving Blood Donation feature goes live on Facebook in India; here's how to get startedFacebook Official Press Kit (Screen-grab)

Facebook has launched a new platform to encourage its 217 million Indian users to donate blood for the needy. Today, the company announced a new blood donations centre that shows people opportunities to donate in their city, including nearby blood donation events, requests for blood donors and locations of blood banks.

To mark the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, the feature was launched at Facebook's F8 developer's conference in San Jose in May and is now rolling out nationally. It can be accessed through the explore menu on the Facebook website or Android/iOS app.

"We know that when donors have information and opportunities to give, they step up to help. But often donors don't know where and when to donate," Hema Budaraju, Product Lead, Health, Facebook said in a statement.

The social networking giant rolled out a tool last October allowing users in India to sign up to be blood donors. By January, more than six million in India people had signed up as blood donors, making it the largest online blood registry in the country.

The feature, which is available in other countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan has seen 11 million people sign up. According to Facebook, it has facilitated thousands of donations.

The social media giant has also announced a new partnership with organisations across the country, including the National Blood Transfusion Council, a division of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), and Giants Welfare Foundation -- a non-profit.

As part of the partnership, Facebook has set up over 2,000 blood donation events this month which will be featured in the new Blood Donation centre. In addition, Facebook is also running a campaign through the month of June to encourage people to donate blood and educate people about the process of donating blood.

The campaign will include stories of people who have helped saved lives using our blood donation features.

"Creating blood donation events on Facebook can enable voluntary blood donors by giving them easy access to information and also help raise awareness for regular blood donations, especially in our country which faces blood shortage," added Shobhini Rajan, Assistant Director General at Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

[With inputs from IANS]