Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency among Apparently Healthy Blood Donors in Kano, North-West Nigeria

  • Sagir G Ahmed
  • Umma A Ibrahim
Keywords: Transfusion, Red Cell, Enzymopathy, Screening


Background: Prevalence of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is high in the tropics because it protects heterozygous carrier females from severe malaria. Donors who are G6PD-deficient may not be symptomatic at time of donation. Nonetheless, G6PD-deficient donor red cells may undergo haemolysis when they encounter drugs or infections in recipient patients. Hence, World Health Organization (WHO) recommends routine screening of donors for G6PD deficiency in populations with high prevalence of G6PD deficiency. Unfortunately, donors are not routinely screened for G6PD deficiency in Nigeria. Hence, prevalence of G6PD among blood donors in North-West Nigeria has not been determined. Objective: To determine the prevalence and significance of G6PD deficiency among apparently healthy blood donors in Kano, North-West Nigeria.
Methodology: Cross-sectional prospective study in which 4mls of ethylene-diamine tetra-acetate anti-coagulated blood were collected from 500 healthy consenting blood donors were screened for G6PD deficiency by UV-light fluorescent screening technique conducted between January and June 2014 at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano, North-West Nigeria.
Result: Glucose-6-phospahte dehydrogenase deficiency was found in 102(20.4%) of donors studied. All of the G6PD-deficient donors were males and had normal haematological parameters at the time of donation.
Conclusion: Prevalence of G6PD deficiency in blood donors in Kano, North-West Nigeria is high. Transfusion of G6PD-deficient red cells is potentially deleterious especially to neonates and young children, and all G6PD-deficient patients irrespective of age. Hence, Nigeria and other tropical countries must upgrade their transfusion safety by ensuring that donors are routinely screened for G6PD deficiency as recommended by WHO.

Key Words: Transfusion, Red Cell, Enzymopathy, Screening


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eISSN: 1115-0521