Community survey on blood donation practices in a northern state of Nigeria


Introduction. Volunteer blood donors account for less than half of the blood supply in developing countries; and few countries have mobilized efforts to encourage voluntary blood donation (VBD). The objective of this study was to determine the knowledge and blood donation practices among adults in a state in Northern Nigeria. Methods. Descriptive cross sectional study using multistage sampling technique was carried out among 936 respondents. Semi structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used to generate relevant data and information from the respondents. Data entry and analysis was done using EPI-info software package. Results. The knowledge of the respondents on blood donation was low. Less than half 432 (46.2%) knew some indications for blood transfusion. Two hundred and twelve (22.6%) respondents had donated blood in the past but only 1% of these were VBD while 95% were donations based on blood needs by family members, relations and friends. Few respondents 112 (12%) had received blood transfusion in the past, and the main source of blood transfused was paid commercial donors 50 (44.6%). The fear of HIV screening was a major hindrance and limitation to voluntary blood donation among respondents. Conclusion. The gaps in knowledge and practice of VBD can be addressed through public awareness campaigns, and motivational programmes such as free medical services for voluntary blood donors.