An app to connect with blood donors

Shreya Arun, a student of Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery from Malappuram, was beaming as a 10-day ‘blood challenge’ culminated on the World Blood Donor Day on Sunday.

For, all her five friends had by then lived up to her challenge to enlist themselves as voluntary blood donors. They were among the more than 1,500 voluntary donors who enlisted as part of the social-media-based challenge in which many National Service Scheme units of colleges from across the State participated.

It was organised by Expectation Walkers, a Kerala-based NGO working towards social reforms, in association with Friends2Support, arguably world’s largest voluntary blood donation app, from June 4.

“Finding a donor without a third party participation is near impossible in Kerala for the time being. Friends2Support facilitates direct contact with the donors. The campaign was organised to drive home the significance of voluntary blood donation especially at a time the pandemic has severely crippled it. Even a slight delay in access to rare blood groups like AB negative, AB positive, O negative etc., could prove fatal,” said Jayajith Prasad, the founder of Expectation Walkers and the Kerala Campaign Lead for Friends2Support.

With the storage of Packaged Red Blood Cell and Platelets having a very limited shelf life, the app seeks to overcome it with the on-the-spot targeted blood donation.

The app facilitates area-specific search for active donors while not featuring those who have donated recently till they complete the three-month period when they will be eligible for donation again. “Besides, it offers automatic number sorting so that no two successive searches even for the same group of blood will return the same results eliminating the possibility of the same donor being approached time and again,” said Mr. Prasad.

The ‘blood challenge’ was not the first initiative of Expectation Walkers to promote voluntary blood donation as they frequently toured campuses with its band as part of the ‘music for blood’ campaign. Having completed a year of operation, the organisation has so far enlisted more than 2,000 voluntary blood donors.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 1:39:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/an-app-to-connect-with-blood-donors/article31834564.ece

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