An inaugural blood donation drive specifically targeted at youth donating blood for the first time was launched a few days agp. Supported by Singapore Red Cross, the drive is the culmination of a communications campaign, titled #GiveBloodAChance, which strives to get youth to rise up to the challenge of donating blood for the very first time. It is led by three final-year undergraduates from Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in Nanyang Technological University.
Based on statistics provided by Health Sciences Authority, in 2012, only 1.86% of Singapore’s residential population are blood donors, of which only 32% are youth donors and 30% are first time donors. In addition, 108,600 units of blood are needed annually to ensure that Singapore’s bloodstocks are kept at healthy levels, as well as to help ease or prevent shortages during festive periods and emergencies.
A preliminary poll identified one of the main reasons youth refrain from donating blood is the fear of pain, blood or needles. While that fear cannot be entirely overcome, this initiative hopes to get youth to take a leap of courage and donate blood at least once in their lives. The campaign hopes to impress upon youth that a simple act of donating blood can save up to three lives in only one hour.
To leverage on Singaporean youth being keen users and endorsers of social media, #GiveBloodAChance has set up a Facebook page where youth can find out more about donating blood for the first time. They can also submit Picture Pledges of themselves with the reason why they are donating blood for the first time, with the hashtag #givebloodachance, on both Facebook and Instagram.
The most heart-warming pledge will stand to win an attractive prize.