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Targeting Females as Voluntary Non Remunerated Donors in Developing Nations

Anyanwu-Yeiya CC, Sonubi O and Kotila TR

Objectives: To assess the level of female participation in blood donation at a blood bank of a developing nation and compare findings with that of other parts of the world.
Background: Safe blood is the foundation of good blood transfusion practice and voluntary non remunerated donors (VNRD) are the cornerstone. There is therefore always a quest for VNRDs, in order to boost the blood transfusion service. Safe blood practice is not optimal in many developing nations mostly for lack of VNRDs. Female donors are also rarely blood donors in this setting. It may therefore be productive to target this group as a source of VNRDs.
Methods: A retrospective study of blood donors who have been screened for transfusion transmitted infections was carried out at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. Information was obtained from the donor registry of the blood bank from January 2013 - June 2014.
Results: There were 8,619 donors, of which 90.1% and 9.9% were male and female respectively. Family replacement donors accounted for 84.7% of the donors and 15.3% were VNRD. Female donors were 7.9% and 21% of FRD and VNRD respectively. The odds of a female being a VNRD was higher than for a male, 0.48 vs. 0.16 (OR=3, 95%CI= 2.56-3.51).
Conclusion: Females have more potentials of being voluntary donors than males; they should therefore be targeted in improving blood donation in developing countries. There is also the need to explore reasons why females do not regularly donate in this setting and address such.