Characteristics of blood donors and donated blood in sub-Saharan Francophone Africa

University Teaching Hospital, PO Box: 4806 Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Transfusion (Impact Factor: 3.23). 04/2009; 49(8):1592-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02137.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The importance of blood safety in public health was recognized long ago, and data are essential to plan strategies to improve the status. This study aims to obtain data on blood donor and blood donation characteristics that would complement blood safety data from national and international organizations.
A questionnaire was sent to seven Francophone countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, and Rwanda) and was structured to obtain objective data on blood donors and donated blood and in administrative and technical organization.
The results reflect a poor level of organization of blood transfusion centers in large regions of the African continent, insufficient supply of blood products, high prevalence of transfusion-transmitted infections, limited financial resources, a lack of well-trained personnel, and cultural obstacles. Six countries had less than 50% of their personnel trained in transfusion medicine. Only one country had the entire standard operating procedure written. Female donors represented less than 30% of the donors and the range of percentage of hepatitis B found in donors was 2.76% to 18.96%.
The inclusion of these regions in future blood safety surveys and in the development of national blood transfusion programs is essential and will undoubtedly require the assistance of international organizations.

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