There is a need for more voluntary blood donors in India. Despite the population size, the demand-supply gap for blood units persists in many healthcare facilities across India. According to a report by the World Health Organization, only 9 million blood units are available annually in India, against a demand of 12 million units. As part of our 12th birthday celebration, we're launching today a social initiative called #BloodMatters, designed to drive more awareness and bridge the gap of blood donations in India. Blood Donors India (@BloodDonorsIN), a voluntary blood donation helpline on Twitter, is the first partner for the #BloodMatters initiative. We seek to expand the reach of the helpline through Twitter Lite (mobile.twitter.com), which provides more data-friendly access to real-time information exchange on blood donations across India. We will also promote @BloodDonorsIN as part of Twitter’s #TwitterForGood philanthropic mission.
People can request for blood donation simply with a Tweet to @BloodDonorsIN with their location hashtag, blood type, mobile contact and Twitter handle (see example below). People interested to help can follow @BloodDonorsIN and respond or retweet requests for help.
We will support the implementation of an automated response solution to scale the operations of @BloodDonorsIN, currently run by a group of volunteers. We will also amplify the real-time communication efforts of the handle with account verification, promotion on Twitter, and Twitter Lite to connect @BloodDonorsIN with people across the entire country, from the metros to rural India. Twitter Lite (mobile.twitter.com) provides a data-friendly mobile web experience accessible to anyone with a smartphone or tablet with a browser, optimized for speed with up to 30% faster launch times, reduces data usage up to 70% with data saver mode, and takes up less than 1MB on mobile devices.
With #TwitterForGood, our mission is to make the world a better place by harnessing the positive power of Twitter. As a company, Twitter works towards this goal through civic engagement, volunteerism, and partnerships with charities around the world. #BloodMatters fits into our overall commitment to support a broader emergency response and disaster recovery program for India. As part of the #BloodMatters initiative, we seek to work with more blood donation helplines like @BloodDonorsIN, blood banks, health institutions and relevant partners across the country to connect and reach a larger audience with the speed and scale of Twitter.
Since December 2008, Mr. Balu Nayar, founder of Blood Donors India (@BloodDonorsIN), has been running the blood donation helpline on Twitter to alleviate the matching of blood donation demand and supply in India. In the past 10 years of operation, the handle has grown to over a million followers, while the handle received over 680,000 mentions and more than 11,000 responses to blood donation request Tweets in 2017. Based on 2017 data from @BloodDonorsIN, blood donation request Tweets came from over 40 cities across India with Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore as the top 5 locations. @BloodDonorsIN volunteers help to translate requests in Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil, into English.
Twitter is the fastest platform where information exchange on blood donation takes place. Over the years, @BloodDonorsIN has accumulated over a million Twitter followers who have sought help, want to help or have been helped. The goal of the collaboration is to extend the benefit to a larger audience by creating more awareness for blood donation requests and scaling operations of @BloodDonorsIN through this initiative.