The Online Blood Donation System will be for documenting key information of the regular donors and new ones, including type of their blood groups, their locations and organisations they work for.
Speaking in an interview with the ‘Sunday News’, Blood Donor Affair Officer with NBTS, Mr Kizito Tamba said through the system, any person or an organisation interested in donating blood can register itself.
Mr Tamba however said that NBTS will be the administrator of the system, whereby it can register, delete members or modify the system.
“Our aim is to keep blood donor’s information; for long time we have been using conventional methods to sensitize the community about blood donation.
Due to the growth of technology, we have decided to start designing a system that will make it easier to mobilise the community,” he said.
According to him, they started working on developing the system since 2020, and that a team of experts are still working on it, saying its intention is to know who, where and the type of blood group they have or needs for blood in particular areas.
Mr Tamba further highlighted that the system will help NBTS to know various blood information and it will also help their various stakeholders, especially the hospital to know the amount of blood supply in the country.
The system will also enable NBTS to easily know where they can get blood, especially during emergencies.
Expounding further, he said the system will be used to provide information to the public about blood donation in general and groups of people and their blood groups. “
In this system, no one will be able to access personal details of another person. It is only NBTS which will have access to personal information,” he pointed out.
He said the system will be designed in a way that it will be sending a reminder to donors when the time for them to donate blood comes.
Usually, a donor donates blood after every three months. NBTS is a programme under the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Elderly and Children, mandated to collect blood from voluntary non remunerated blood donors (VNRBDs), and processing and distribution of blood to all hospitals in the country free of charge. On the blood donation feature launched recently by Facebook, he said it will assist NBTS to connect its seven blood donation centres in Tanzania to blood donors across the country.
“The feature aims to encourage people to donate blood and will enable anyone in Tanzania between 18 and 65 years to sign up to receive notifications about blood donation opportunities at any nearby centre,” he said.
In a statement released by Facebook Communications Manager, Eastern Africa, Janet Kemboi, the feature also allows people to invite their friends and family to sign up to receive updates on donating blood.
Since its founding in 2004, NBTS has evolved from a hospital- based system relying on more than 80 per cent of family replacement donors, to a coordinated centralized system based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.
According to NBTS, youth and students in Tanzania belong to a crucial group of blood donors because they account for 80 per cent of the blood supply.
Since launching the blood donations feature in October 2017, over 85 million people have signed up to receive notifications from nearby blood banks about opportunities to donate in more than 30 countries.
Tanzania is the 13th country in Africa to launch the feature.