Three years have passed since Arvid Ohlin was relaxing at his home in Stockholm when he received a message on his phone.
However, this wasn’t an ‘ordinary’ text from a friend or a relative- it was a thank you note for the blood he recently donated and that has been given to a patient.
This text initiative for blood donors was launched in 2015 by the Blodcentralen, a blood donation service in Stockholm.
It uses technology which helps recruit and keep new donors on their lists. The donors receive an automatic message informing them about their blood being given to another person.
Happy & Grateful They Can Help Others in Need
Arvid, who’s now over 40 and a veteran blood donor, has given blood more than 25 times since the age of 19.
He’s very comfortable with the whole process that he even takes his son Assar with him to the blood bank.
When he received the first message, the veteran donor remembers feeling happy and nice. He was also satisfied about the confirmation that his blood was used to help someone.
When he was asked what he would say to motivate other people to donate blood too, he said that he considers blood donations to be a natural thing and if one is able to, he/she should do it.
Countries with high-income need to recruit more youngsters to donate blood and the Stockholm service hopes that the message initiative will be of aid to decrease shortages.
Communications Manager, Karolina Blom Wiberg claims that the SMS-s build loyalty and the donors (including herself), love receiving them.
The message, Wiberg further claimed, hits you in the gut when you think of the fact that someone has been helped with the blood that was running in your veins.
Some Important Facts about Blood Donations
In the 112.5 million blood donations collected on a global level, around 50 percent are from high-income countries or home to the 19 percent of the world population.
In high-income countries, the rate of blood donations is 33.1 donations per thousand people, 11.7 donations in middle-income countries, and 4.6 in low-income ones.
In 70 countries, there have been fewer than 10 donations per thousand individuals.
Of these, 38 are in the WHO African Region, 6 in the Americas, 6 in the Eastern Mediterranean, 5 in the European region, 6 in the South-East Asia, and 9 in the Western Pacific.
All of these are low or middle income countries.
Text Messaging as a Part of mHealth
The latest report on eHealth in Europe has shown a wide application of SMS in mHealth (apps, medical devices, and wearable tech).
The messages are sent to remind donors for appointments and to raise awareness and promote healthy life and community campaigns.
However, only 3 countries that were surveyed had mHealth programs sponsored by the government and only few of them had made evaluations.
The World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on the 14th of June. It’s a time to thank donors for their lifesaving gift- their blood.
It’s other goals are to spread awareness of why becoming a donor matters and to inspire people to join other blood donors.
To ensure sustainable blood supply, there’s need of regular, unpaid, and voluntary donations.