Socio-Cultural Barriers to Voluntary Blood Donation for Obstetric Use in a Rural Nigerian Village

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
African Journal of Reproductive Health 01/2006; 9(3):72-6. DOI: 10.2307/3583413
Source: PubMed


Availability of blood for transfusion is of utmost importance in the fight against maternal morbidity and mortality. This study was conducted to identify the socio-demographic characteristics and reasons of persons declining voluntary blood donation. Patients' relatives declining blood donation in rural Ebonyi State were randomly recruited and interviewed using standardised questionnaire after obtaining informed consent from each of them. Responses were ranked according to frequency of positive respondents. Illiteracy was prevalent among the population: over 76% had no formal education. 'Not being strong enough' and 'not having enough blood' were the two major reasons for declining blood donation, while loss of manhood/libido and exposure of blood to witchcraft were the other reasons given. Respondents' level of awareness of HIV/AIDS was appreciable. Socio-cultural barriers to voluntary blood donation exist in predominantly illiterate rural communities of the country. Most of the reasons given were based on misconception, misinformation and ignorance about the effect and safety of blood donation.

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Available from: Odidika Ugochukwu Joannes Umeora, Jun 19, 2014
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    • "They were often anemic and needed blood transfusion and other forms of resuscitation prior to definitive investigations and treatment. This was a huge challenge in our centre as more than 46% needed transfusion, and blood for transfusion is not readily available, such that the blood bank operators had to often recourse to the poor relatives of the poor patients for blood, without success.28 "
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    • "Within African communities it has been reported that there is also a fear of negative consequences of giving blood, such as opening one up to potential 'attack by witchcraft or voodoo' (Umeora, Onuh and Umeora 2005) as well assome general religious opposition to giving blood in Christian denominations such as Jehovah's Witnesses (Hudson and Johnson 2004). In other religions, such as Islam, religious leaders have put out proclamations stating that blood and organic donation were not only acceptable, but in fact a responsibility, although some confusion in the community related to this mater still exists (Shaheen and Soquiyyeh 2004). "
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