Pan African Medical Journal

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Transfusion transmitted infections – A retrospective analysis from the National Blood Transfusion Service in Eritrea

N Fessehaye, D Naik, T Fessehaye


Background: The emergence of transfusion transmitted infection (TTI) especially HIV/AIDS has created a huge obstacle in ensuring blood safety. To assess the situation in Eritrea, we carried out a retrospective study of 29,501 blood donors for the prevalence of TTI’s i.e. HIV, HBV, HCV and Syphilis. Methods: The study population included all donors who donated blood from January 2006 to November 2009. The data was collected from the National Blood Transfusion Services (NTBS) of Eritrea and includes category of donor and result for TTI markers. Results: A total of 29,501 units of blood were collected from 23,385(79%) voluntary blood donors and the rest 6,116(21%) units were collected from family replacement donors. The over all prevalence of TTI’s were 3.8% with 3.5% in voluntary blood donors and 5.1% in family replacement donors. The sero-prevalence for TTI markers were 0.18% HIV, 2.58% HBV, 0.57% HCV and 0.49% Syphilis. Conclusion: In conclusion, even if the TTI prevalence rate among Eritrean blood donors is low, ensuring blood safety has a long way to go.

Key words: Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Hepatitis B Virus, Hepatitis C Virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Transfusion Transmitted Infection, Blood transfusion, Eritrea
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