Asian Journal of Transfusion Science

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2011  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 183--184

Psychosocial profiling of blood donors and assessing source of awareness of blood donation through a blood donation camp at a medical college, Ahmadabad, Gujarat


Rashmi Sharma 
 Department of Community Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Sola, Ahmedabad, India

Correspondence Address:
Rashmi Sharma
12 Shresth Bungalows Motera, Sabarmati Road, Motera Gandhi Nagar Highway, Ahmedabad - 382 424
India




How to cite this article:
Sharma R. Psychosocial profiling of blood donors and assessing source of awareness of blood donation through a blood donation camp at a medical college, Ahmadabad, Gujarat.Asian J Transfus Sci 2011;5:183-184


How to cite this URL:
Sharma R. Psychosocial profiling of blood donors and assessing source of awareness of blood donation through a blood donation camp at a medical college, Ahmadabad, Gujarat. Asian J Transfus Sci [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Jun 30 ];5:183-184
Available from: https://www.ajts.org/text.asp?2011/5/2/183/83259


Full Text

Sir,

"Blood saves lives" was the World health Organization (WHO) theme for 2000 AD. [1] Universal access to safe and adequate blood is the essence of good blood transfusion services. Adequate quality blood can be ensured by promoting voluntary blood donation and it involves identification, recruitment and retention of voluntary blood donors (VBDs). It is best achieved by involving the general community. Once a blood donor motivator raises awareness, he/she motivates and persuades people to donate blood. Globally most blood from VBDs is collected from outdoor camps, organized in educational institutions, industrial and commercial houses. Ideally if 2% of the population donates blood it will be sufficient to meet the needs. India with a population of over a billion has a meager availability of 2.5 million blood units against an annual requirement of approximately 6 million. [2] Following the high incidence of hepatitis B among paid donors, the Honorable Supreme Court of India in 1998 banned the payment of money to blood donors leading to further shortage of blood units in India because of a lack of public initiative related to general illiteracy, poor knowledge of blood donation, little motivation, religious beliefs and misconception. Nationally, in the donor profile, youngsters and females are underrepresented. The involvement of youngsters is essential to ensure repeat donations. A person can attain the status of a centurion donor only if he/she gets involved in blood donation by the age of 20-25 years. A blood donation camp was held at Kesar SAL Medical College, Ahmadabad on 20 February 2010 in collaboration with the Ahmadabad Red Cross Society. The present study was specifically designed to study the profile of young blood donors as this camp was largely attended by medical students falling in the age group of 18-24 years. An additional objective was to assess their attitude and level of awareness towards blood donation. Information was gathered from all the donors on a structured questionnaire with prior oral consent. Out of a total of 122 volunteers, most were males (72.1%) and from the 18-24 years age group (71.3%). In the 35-44 years group all donors were males. The common profile of donors was male, from the 18-24 years age group. More males donated blood than females in all age groups and more so in later age groups due to the perception that females suffer from anemia. Most donors were students (HSC and above). Common conditions for rejection as donor by the camp organizers were anemia and underweight; seen more for female donors. The indigenous fear (khoon ki kami or a volumetric deficiency of blood) is widely prevalent and is the most cited reason for not donating blood, which needs to be addressed. The source of information about blood donation in 98% cases was friends and the rest came to know through TV. It is heartening to know that 98% of donors believed that blood donation is non-hazardous and healthy and will lead to no complications. Volume of blood donation was 370-400 ml, almost 7.5% of the adult blood volume which is compensated in a short time. When asked about diseases transmitted by unsafe blood, the answer was HIV/hepatitis and syphilis (63%), followed by HIV/hepatitis/malaria (18.3%) and HIV/hepatitis (9.8%). Awareness of HIV and hepatitis as transmission-transmitted infections (TTI) was universal. Eighty-nine percent believed blood donation as lifesaving. All youngsters (18-24 years) said that they will educate others about blood donation. Repeat donors provide safe blood and also cater to the blood shortage; their proportion in this study was 18%, higher than the 6% reported in New Delhi. [3] The gap of blood donation can be addressed by targeting the blood donors (so far underrepresented) who as such have no resistance but only lack the awareness and harbor some misconceptions. Each informed donor can act as a motivator and bring in several new donors. It can be achieved by generating awareness about blood donation, suggesting a role for motivation, advocacy and introduction of social incentives (printing of names in the newspaper or felicitation at a public function).

References

1Bharadwaj RS. A study of lipid profiles among male voluntary blood donors in Chennai city. Indian J Community Med 2005;30:16-7.
2Jolly JG. AIDS and blood transfusion program in India. J Indian Med Assoc 1994;92:141,143.
3Singh B, Pandey RM, Anushyanthan, Krishna V, Gupta V. Knowledge, attitude and socio-demographic factors differentiating blood donors in an urban slums of Delhi. Indian J Community Med 2002;28:118-20.