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Michał Brzeziński, Paweł Klikowicz
(Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Medical University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland)
Ann Transplant 2015; 20:141-146
The number of potential registered organ donors does not cover the actual demand in most developed countries. Therefore, methods increasing awareness and interest in organ donation, including modern tools of social marketing, are being researched worldwide. The aim of this paper is to present our 5-year experiences with a Facebook networking campaign – the Dawca.pl Club. The mission of the campaign is to raise awareness and educate Polish society on tissue, cell, and organ transplants, to increase public acceptance for transplants as a treatment method, and to increase the number of voluntary donors signing consents for organ donation. The project is based on the idea of creating a community promoting transplantation, focused around the Dawca.pl Club. At present the club has over 48 000 registered members – people who declared willingness to donate their organs after death. We present a description of members of this social networking service, the possibilities of using it to promote transplants and organ donation, and the efficacy of selected schemes for creating and publishing content on Facebook. The example of Dawca.pl shows that 2-way relations, spread over time, are required for social media to effectively engage and exert influence in a chosen sphere of public health and medicine. Unfortunately, at this time it is difficult to assess how such campaigns, apart from raising social awareness and acceptance, will affect the number of transplantations of organs from living and deceased donors.
Keywords: Health Promotion, Organ Transplantation, Social Media