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Open Access Should Kiribati continue to aim for 100% voluntary non-remunerated blood donation as recommended by the WHO?

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Setting: Tungaru Central Hospital Blood Bank Laboratory, Nawerewere, Tarawa, Kiribati.

Objective: To determine characteristics, deferrals and reasons for deferral amongst blood donors from 2011 to 2016.

Design: A cross-sectional study using routinely collected data.

Results: From January 2011 to March 2016, 8531 potential blood donors were registered. For each full year, the proportion of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors (VNRBD) was below 10%, although it increased to 13% in 2015. The overall proportion of blood donors deferred increased each year over the 5-year period, from 44% to 57%, with similar increases in deferrals in VNRBD and family replacement donors (FRD). Among all blood donors, a higher proportion of females than males (59% vs. 43%) and VNRBD than FRD (56% vs. 44%) were deferred (P < 0.001). Deferrals were due to 1) failing the medical questionnaire (53%), 2) having anaemia and/or high white cell count (26%), or 3) transfusion-transmissible infections (21%). More VNRBD were deferred due to failing the medical questionnaire, while more FRD were deferred due to anaemia and/or high white-cell count; the number of deferrals was similar for transfusion-transmissible infections.

Conclusion: This 5-year study showed that the proportion of VNRBD is low and deferrals are higher for this group than for FRD. There is a strong case for encouraging both types of donor in the country.
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Keywords: Kiribati; blood donors; deferrals; family replacement donors; voluntary non-remunerated blood donors

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Nawerewere, Tarawa, Kiribati 2: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK 3: Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia

Publication date: December 21, 2016

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  • Public Health Action (PHA), The Union's quarterly open access on-line journal, provides a platform for its mission 'Health solutions for the poor'. PHA addresses the need for show-casing operational research that addresses issues in health systems and services. It publishes high-quality scientific research that provides new knowledge to improve access, equity, quality and efficiency of health systems and services.

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