The National Health Service of the U.K., which controls blood and organ donations, has decided to launch a Facebook campaign to raise awareness about the need for donations. Through the page NHS Blood and Transplant, Facebook users can register directly as donors and share information with friends, express their wish to be donors to immediate family members connected to the network, and help maximize public awareness about organ donation.
By harnessing the world’s most popular social network, the Campaign aims to increase awareness on the need for donations (in the U.K. more than 10,000 people are on the organ donation waiting list), and to bring this issue to a population of users who may not be aware of it. Considering that often times, the relatives of a person who has just died must make difficult decisions on organ donation, the NHS created its Facebook campaign to help individuals publicly express their wish to be an organ donor, thereby relieving their loved ones of future stress.
The collaboration between NHS and Facebook is also geared at broadening the debate on organ donation and disseminating relevant information. Similar campaigns are being prepared in Australia, the Netherlands and the U.S.