Acceptance of Umbilical Cord Blood as an Alternative to Adult Blood Transfusion by Pregnant Women in Makurdi, North Central, Nigeria
Background: Inadequate supply of safe blood has been a source of worry to health facilities in Nigeria. One way of addressing this is problem is to consider the use of Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) as an alternative to adult blood for the purpose of blood transfusion. This will only be possible if we accept this alternative.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the acceptance of UCB as an alternative to adult blood transfusion by pregnant women in Makurdi, North central, Nigeria.
Methods: With the use of structured questionnaire, information on socio-demography, acceptance of UCB as an alternative to adult blood, and factors responsible for rejecting UCB were collected from 302 pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic of Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi. Data generated was analyzed with Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 19.
Results: The median age of the respondents was 29 years. Majority was Tiv (84.2%), Civil servants (45.3%), Christians (95.1%), and 62.4% had tertiary education. Twenty-one percent of the women were willing to accept UCB as an alternative to adult blood transfusion. Twenty percent were willing to accept UCB for their babies. The reasons for not willing to accept UCB included; the feeling that UCB is not safe (44.4%), that UCB transfusion is not a usual practice (34.9%), the feeling that UCB may be injurious to their health (12. 7%) and that UCB transfusion is against their faith (8.0%).
Conclusion: Acceptance of UCB as an alternative to adult blood transfusion by pregnant women in Makurdi is low. The major reasons for rejecting UCB was the feeling that cord blood is not safe for transfusion and that it was not a usual practice. For a successful establishment of cord blood banking in Makurdi, massive public awareness program will have to be instituted to deal with the misconceptions surrounding UCB transfusion.
Keywords: Acceptance, Umbilical Cord Blood, Alternative, Transfusion, Pregnant Women