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TRANSMISSIBLE DISEASE AMONG BLOOD DONORS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

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BLOOD DONORS

Introduction

 . However, blood transfusion otherwise known as blood exchange or blood transfer, saves millions of lives and enhance human health worldwide each year that would otherwise have died as a result, it is an immeasurable ingredient when comes to human health. However, blood transfusion is one the essential vehicles for transmitting infection. Chang et al., (2019) noted that some Transfusion-Transmitted Infections (TTIs),includes nut not limited to hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and syphilis caused by Treponema pallidum (TP) among blood donors remain a major threat to blood safety. These infections could be due to viruses, bacteria, protozoans, and/or prions.

However, unsafe blood transfusion has the potential to transmit a diverse of infections to blood recipient, Transfusion-Transmissible Infections (TTIs) or diseases are a major problem associated with blood transfusion, particularly in developing countries and the high degree of this problem is directly related to the prevalence of transfusion-transmissible infections among blood donors (Biadgo et al. 2017). According to Biadgo et al. (2017), each blood transfusion carries a risk of transmitting blood-borne pathogens,  they pointed out that, in sub-Saharan Africa, 5–12% of patients who received blood transfusions are at risk of post-transfusion hepatitis and HIV infections.

A report by WHO Global Database on Blood Safety indicates that before year 2000 more than 40% of all blood donated in developing countries were not screened for TTIs, and that 80% of world population could access just 20% of the safe blood . As of the year 2016, this has changed a lot with most of the African countries testing the four key diseases by 100% (i.e 44/46 test for HIV by 100%, 42/46 test by 100% for HBV, 41/46 test for HCV by 100%, 40/44 test for syphilis by 100%), this means more people have access to safe blood supply (Ifland, Bloch, and Pitman 2017).

The global prevalence of Transfusion Transmissible Infections among blood donors varies from one country to another and from one continent to another,  reflecting the incidence of these infections in different parts of the world. Therefore, effective monitoring of the volume of transfusion-transmittable infections in blood donors is critical for evaluating transfusion risk and optimizing donor recruitment efforts to reduce infectious disease transmission (Bisetegen et al. 2016)

Concept of Blood Donors

A blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusions and/or made into biopharmaceutical medications by a process called fractionation (separation of whole blood components) (Wikipedia Contributors, 2019).

A blood donor is a person that voluntarily offers his blood for the use of another person usually patient. It is often done without payment. That doesn’t mean that some didn’t donate blood for monitory shake (World Health Organization, 2019).

Blood donors are grouped into voluntary donors, replacement donors, and paid donors. The safest of these is the voluntary donor blood. Volunteer blood donation is a safe and simple procedure that involves a donor giving one of the following blood products: whole blood, red blood cells, plasma, or platelets (Benedict, Augustina, and Nosakhare 2012).

Benedict, Augustina, and Nosakhare (2012) noted that the primary goal of blood banking is to provide adequate and safe blood to recipients at no risk to donors. Blood donations can occur at a blood bank, special blood donation center, mobile facilities, or a hospital. Sometimes blood donations occur during special events called blood drives.

Today in the developed world, most blood donors are unpaid volunteers who donate blood for a community supply. In some countries, established supplies are limited and donors usually give blood when family or friends need a transfusion (directed donation). According to World Health Organization (2019), the data about the gender profile of blood donors show that globally 33% of blood donations are given by women, although this ranges widely. In 14 of the 111 reporting countries, less than 10% of donations are given by female donors. The age profile of blood donors shows that, proportionally, more young people donate blood in low-and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.

Types of Blood Donors

There are 3 types of blood donors according to World Health Organization (2019), which are:

  1. Voluntary unpaid
  2. Family/replacement

A Voluntary:  Voluntary non-remunerated blood donor gives blood, plasma or cellular components of his or her own free will and receives no payment, either in the form of cash or in kind which could be considered a substitute for money. This would include time off work other than that reasonably needed for the donation and travel. Small tokens, refreshments and reimbursements of direct travel costs are compatible with voluntary, non-remunerated donation.

Family/Replacement : Family/replacement donors are those who give blood when it is required by a member of their own family or community. In most cases, the patient’s relatives are requested by hospital staff to donate blood, but in some settings it is compulsory for every patient who requires transfusion to provide a specified number of replacement donors on emergency admission to hospital or before planned surgery. Although donors are not paid by the blood transfusion service or hospital, there may be a hidden paid donation system in which money or other forms of payment are actually provided by patients’ families.

Paid or Commercial Donors : Paid or commercial donors give blood in return for payment or other benefits that satisfy a basic need or can be sold, converted into cash or transferred to another person. They often give blood regularly and may even have a contract with a blood bank to supply blood for an agreed fee. Alternatively, they may sell their blood to more than one blood bank or approach patients’ families and try to sell their services by posing as family/replacement donors (Voluntary Blood Donation: Foundation of a Safe and Sufficient Blood Supply, 2010)


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