Facebook has officially launched a new feature that enables users to indicate organ donation status on profiles.
The new service, set to enable the world’s largest social network to save lives, is expected to bring together a pool of potential donors out of Facebook’s 1 billion members.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis.
Facebook believes that by simply informing people of an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role.
Study shows that 18 people die each day while waiting for an organ. The new service is hailed to be highly effective and could reduce the number of the deaths.
Within 24 hours following its launch, over 100,000 people had used the new feature to declare their donation status. Donate Life America afterwards received 18,000 new followers on the link www.facebook.com/DonateLife.
According to the study, in the United States alone, more than 114,000 people lie in wait of organ donations including a new heart, liver or kidney.
In Africa’s, South Africa, over 4300 people wait for the organs. Less than 800 of them will get the organ(s) they need this year.
Similar initiatives, of using technology and social networks to source for organ donors, have been initiated in Africa. An example includes The South Africa based Organ Donor Foundation that aside from getting potential donors, educates the public about organ donation.
Facebook states that the gift of life is too precious to waste, and believes that by using social networking power, the number of deaths arising from lack of donors can be significantly reduced.
Zuckerberg said his inspiration comes from a well-known recipient of a liver transplant, late Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs Mark Zuckerberg.