Research examines awareness, knowledge, and practice of blood donation in Bangladesh

Blood donation is a vital life-saving process but low awareness about the importance of blood donation can impact the safe and adequate supply of blood in hospitals. A research article published in the Update Dental College Journal (UpDCJ) found a positive attitude to blood donation among the donors in Bangladesh but a big disparity between male and female, as well as some knowledge gaps about blood donation.

The study was conducted at the transfusion medicine department of National Institute of Neurosciences & Hospital in Dhaka from January to December 2015 to assess awareness, knowledge and practice of blood donation among donors.

The research article titled Awareness about blood donation among donors at a specialized tertiary level public hospital by Begum Sharifa Akhtar, Nihar Sultana, Saieda Farzana, Reshma Ahmed and Md Golam Rubby showed that age, gender, education level and marital status affected the blood donors' willingness to donate.

Over 80% of the 150 donors participating in the research were male. As compared to males, this study finds female donors to be very few. The study identifies a low donor turnover and temporary deferral conditions like low haemoglobin values, low weight, and fear of pain as the reasons behind lower female participation in blood donation.  The average age of the donors was 28.4 and the age range of the donors was 18-57 years.

The study shows that just over half (56%) of donors had knowledge about the eligibility criteria of blood donation such as knowledge about the interval of blood donation and the age they can start donation. However, 47.3 % did not know the required haemoglobin level to donate blood and the volume of blood in each donation, indicating that more awareness needs to be delivered to the target groups.

"[The] majority of the donors showed positive effects like a sense of satisfaction and were interested to donate blood regularly, which is a very positive approach. This study showed that most of the donors were aware about blood donation and they had a good attitude towards it," says Nihar Sultana, author of this research article.

Sultana says that a clear, simple and consistent message should be delivered by using health education materials to the target groups for mass encouragement and awareness on this topic.

"Media can play an important role. Creating opportunities for blood donations by conducting many blood donation camps may provide a solution for our blood demand," she adds.

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