Pattern of blood donation and characteristics of blood donors in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria
Background: Despite increasing need for blood donation in medical practice, little is known about pattern of blood donation and characteristics of blood donors in some African populations like Nigeria. This information is necessary in designing strategies and policies for improving blood transfusion services in Africa.
Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the pattern of blood donation and characteristics of blood donors in Enugu, Southeast, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A cross‑sectional study of 3377 blood donors at a tertiary hospital in Enugu, Nigeria from May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017. Information sought included donors’ sociodemographic characteristics; type of blood donor: Voluntary nonremunerated donor (VNRD), family replacement donor (FRD), or paid donor (PD); willingness to become VNRD in the future after counseling and education (at point of entry to blood bank) on its benefits to clinical practice; hemoglobin (Hb) level; and transfusion transmissible infections (TTIs).
Results: Mean age of blood donors was 28.8 ± 8.5 years, majority were male (3011, 89.2%) and students (1289, 32.8%). FRDs were the highest in number (1998, 59.2%), followed by PDs (746, 22.1%) and finally VNRDs (633, 18.7%). Of the 3377 persons that came for blood donation, 2537 (75.1%) were found eligible to donate while 840 (24.9%) were deferred on account of low Hb (602/3377, 17.8%) or positive infectious screening test (238/3377, 7.0%). The odds of a male donor being a VNRD were about one and half times that of a female donor (582/3011 [19.3%] vs. 51/366 [13.9%]; odds ratio: 1.48; 95% confidence interval: 1.09–2.02; P = 0.01). After counseling of FRDs and PDs, majority (54.3%) were willing to become VNRDs in the future. Donors’ age >30 years, being of male sex, having tertiary level of education, and being employed were strongly associated with willingness to become VNRDs in the future (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: VNRD made up <20% of the total number of donors in Enugu, Nigeria. There is a need for improvement in public enlightenment on the need for VNRDs and employment opportunities of the populace to improve voluntary blood donation.
Keywords: Blood donation, blood donors, donor characteristics, pattern