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Blood donors on social media: Saviours in times of crisis

| Updated: March 01, 2022 12:28:26

Blood donors on social media: Saviours in times of crisis

1.35 million people are killed by traffic accidents every year in the world, and another 30 million are injured or disabled, with a large percentage of them requiring blood during the first 24 hours of treatment.

Among those deaths, a huge chunk occurs due to lack of blood at the right time.

Accidents aside, medical situations such as surgery or any sickness may necessitate the urgent need for blood.

Every year, approximately 240 million major operations are conducted globally, a large percentage of which require blood transfusion.

But, often in such critical situations, it becomes extremely painstaking to find a blood donor. Such uncertainty, whether blood will be managed or not, makes everyone suffer.

However, social media-based blood donation groups come as a blessing in this regard where the information of the crisis can reach thousands of willing donors in a flash.

In recent years, several organisations and social media-based blood donation groups have worked in the field of voluntary blood donation all across the country.

These online platforms have made it much simpler for patients and their relatives to manage blood donors.

Over time, the number of such groups has grown as more young individuals are ready to help patients have formed or joined them. Their efforts have also encouraged a positive mentality about blood donation, resulting in an increase in the number of voluntary donors. 

There are many volunteers in Bangladesh who are either members of blood donation groups or are working to establish such groups or organisations.

Those who are willing to donate blood put their blood group on their social media profiles so that others can contact them in an emergency situation. In fact, Bangladesh needs around 800,000 bags of blood each year, and voluntary donors can cover a huge 35 per cent of that need.

Avijatri Bangladesh is one such Facebook group that, like many other digital platforms, has been trying to carry out life-saving initiatives, and this group is completely run by young university students.

Amit Hasan, executive member of Avijatri Bangladesh and an undergrad student of BRAC University, shared, “Donating blood can provide you the satisfaction of knowing that you contributed to someone's life being saved.”

“I've been a frequent blood donor since I was 19. I've seen how frightened and worried people may become while trying to find blood for loved ones, and it motivated me and my friends to form this online platform to reach out to the blood donor volunteers as quickly as possible.”

Avijatri has been doing their voluntary work since 2015, and there are presently 126 volunteers registered in their group, as well as around 8500 members who, whenever needed, donate blood conveniently.

He also mentioned that being a student and young helps them to get a better response from their friends and colleagues, because nowadays, young people are doing this with enthusiasm as they know the science behind it and don’t believe those myths which say blood donation makes you weak.

“We organised multiple blood donation events as well as a free blood grouping test program, free medical checkup which received a positive reaction from the public. We aim to raise awareness about blood donation and get people out of their superstitious mindsets so that more lives can be saved,” concluded Amit.

Among many other positive aspects, finding blood donors in crisis moments has been one of the biggest blessings.

Posting about a patient on Facebook who needs blood, with proper information regarding blood group, how much blood needed, where to go to donate helps finding donors faster than going to blood bank as numerous people share these posts.

Blood donation is a noble work and there are many who are willing to donate. The only barrier is that the crisis message often doesn’t reach them.

These blood donation organisations are doing exactly that thing, delivering the information to the donors to lend a helping hand. Increasing participation from the youths is expected to make it even easier to manage blood in the future.

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