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Introduction: Safe and adequate blood donation is critical in saving millions of lives annually. In many developing including Nigeria, there is paucity of blood donors.
Aim: In this study, we assessed the blood donation practices of tertiary level students in Imo State, South East Nigeria as well as its prevalence and determinants.
Methodology: Multistage sampling technique was used. Stage one involved the stratification of the institutions into universities and non-universities. In stage two, one university and one non -university was selected using simple random method. Stage three involved the selection of study participants from the student registry using systematic sampling method. Self-administered questionnaire was the study instrument. Data analysis was with Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM – SPSS) version 20.
Results: Six hundred (600) undergraduates participated in the study. The mean age of the respondents was 21.3 ± 5.0 years. The one year prevalence of blood donation in this study was 13.8% and 63.1% of the non-donors were willing to donate. Respondents aged 15 – 29 years more willing to donate blood compared to those aged 30 – 44 years (OR = 3.03, p = 0.0003), those that were single were 4 times more willing to donate in comparison to those that were married/divorced (OR = 4.02, p < 0.0001). Respondents that were of Catholic faith were also more willing to donate compared to those that were of Pentecostal/Orthodox denomination (OR = 2.72, p = <0.0001). Class distribution and residence were not independent predictors of willingness to donate blood.
Conclusion: From the findings in this study, it was obvious that the willingness to donate blood is far greater than the actual act of donating blood. There is need to continue to reach out to those willing to donate but do not know how to go about it.
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