Magnifique Migisha: How to Save Lives with Social Media and Blood Donation

Magnifique Migisha is a Digital Strategist.


A single social media post sparked a fire within me, leading me straight to the blood donation centre. I found myself rolling up my sleeves, ready to contribute to the life-saving cause. What was even more inspiring was that I met other blood donors who had been moved by the same post.

Blood donation is a lifeline, often making the difference between life and death for those in need. Despite its importance, shortages, particularly of rare blood types, pose significant challenges. Some time ago, the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) published a couple of social media posts to rally potential donors and raise awareness about the urgent need for blood donation.

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While browsing various posts on X, I came across a compelling call to action from Dr. Thomas Muyombo, the Division Manager of the Blood Transfusion Division at RBC. His post, targeting individuals with the O Rh negative blood type, emphasised its universal compatibility and crucial role in emergencies.

The post quickly gained traction among Rwandan X users, most of whom are young people. Some of my friends even reposted his message, underscoring its impact. Dr. Muyombo’s powerful message inspired me to act. I joined fellow donors at the RBC’s blood transfusion centre, many of whom had also been moved by the social media post.

The evolving communication landscape highlights the critical role of digital platforms in societal efforts to save lives. While some younger generations may not use social media to its full potential, this can change. By effectively using these platforms, we can amplify life-saving messages and support healthcare initiatives like blood donation.

Photo by Obi – @pixel8propix on Unsplash

As I sat in the donation chair, I reflected that my simple act could potentially help someone in need. The process was painless, and the nurse was attentive, ensuring I felt no discomfort. This experience affirmed that donating blood is a rewarding act. A survey by the Rwanda Biomedical Centre revealed that only 38% of respondents had donated blood.

However, recent statistics show positive progress, with the hospital blood supply in Rwanda at an impressive 99.42% in 2022. Of the 78,838 blood units donated, 27.24% were contributed by youth aged 18-25 years. The most prevalent donor group was O+, contributing 39,558 blood units, while O- and AB- donated 7,611 and 145 units, respectively.

Social media offers a diverse range of channels and strategies to reach target audiences, foster connections, and drive outcomes. Unlike traditional marketing reliant on offline mediums, social media provides speed and personalisation, allowing practitioners to deliver data-driven campaigns directly to targeted individuals.

Social media, including X, can reach a large audience quickly, ensuring campaigns have a far-reaching impact. The potential influence of social media is immense, particularly when used to promote life-saving initiatives like blood donation.


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