Since Facebook debuted a tool allowing users to denote their organ donor status in May, more than 275,000 people have become registered donors worldwide.
That figure could be set to grow further as Facebook launched the tool in Canada Tuesday. Jordan Banks, managing director of Facebook Canada, said the delay in allowing Canadians to use the feature was because organ donation falls under the jurisdiction of provinces and territories.
Canada is the 15th country to get the option to add “Registered to be an organ donor” as a health and wellness event on your Facebook timeline. If you’re not already registered, you’ll also be able to connect with the organ donor registry in your region to sign up.
Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s health minister, said more than 4,500 Canadians are on transplant waiting lists. Although national figures were not available, more than 66,000 people have registered as donors this year in Ontario—just over a fifth of the province’s annual target of 300,000.
A report last week suggested the growth in the number of people signing up to become a donor via Facebook quickly became stagnant after the initial publicity and burst of activity. Within a week, registrations in California, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio (the four biggest state registries) dipped back to the level they were at before the tool’s launch in early May.
Yet as more donor registries around the world join up, interest in the tool and becoming a donor should increase, leading to an uptick in registrations elsewhere, as many people have Facebook friends in several different countries.
Photo by Mark Coggins/Flickr