Ministry, Facebook launch blood donation campaign

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A woman donates blood at the National Blood Tranfusion Centre in Phnom Penh last year. Hean Rangsey

Facebook has partnered with the Ministry of Health’s National Blood Transfusion Centre to launch a Blood Donations feature intended to connect donors with blood banks across the Kingdom and build a network of community support.

According to a February 24 press release, 22 facilities had joined the initiative so far.

“Globally, millions of lives depend on access to safe and sustainable blood supplies. Whether it be for regular blood transfusions or emergencies like road accidents, complex surgeries or other complications, access to blood is crucial to save lives,” it said.

Speaking at the launch ceremony at Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, health minister Mam Bun Heng expressed hope that the campaign would help to spur more donations.

“We welcome the initiative and are looking forward to strengthening and digitising our healthcare system, connecting people to blood donation facilities and introducing people to the voluntary and free national blood donation service. We encourage people who are interested to register and volunteer to donate blood to save people’s lives,” he said.

According to the press release, the Blood Donations feature has already helped increase voluntary blood donations around the world by giving people aged 18 to 65 the option of using Facebook to sign up for notifications from nearby blood banks and opportunities to reach out and donate.

“In Cambodia, Facebook has partnered with the health ministry and other local organisations to ensure that people have access to credible health information online,” it said.

Heng Pheakdey, Facebook’s public policy manager for Cambodia, said the company hopes to build communities which support each other in times of need, especially during the ongoing pandemic.

“More people are using digital platforms to create health awareness and form support systems. We are happy to work with the government and partners to make it easier to donate and ensure that more people have access to safe and sustainable blood supplies,” said Pheakdey.

The press release said over 85 million Facebook users globally have signed up with the Blood Donations programme. The feature is now available in 30 countries, and additional information is available on the web at: facebook.com/donateblood.