Caregivers and community perceptions of blood transfusion for children with severe anaemia in Uganda

A. Dhabangi, R. Idro, C. C. John, W. H. Dzik, R. Opoka, G. E. Siu, F. Ayebare, M. B. van Hensbroek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To describe local perceptions of blood transfusion for children with severe anaemia in Uganda. Background: Blood transfusion is a common emergency treatment for children with severe anaemia and saves millions of lives of African children. However, the perceptions of transfusion recipients have not been well studied. A better understanding of the perceived risk may improve transfusion care. Methods: A qualitative study based on 16 in-depth interviews of caregivers of transfused children, and six focus group discussions with community members was conducted in three regions of Uganda between October and November 2017. Results: Caregivers of children and community members held blood transfusion in high regard and valued it as life-saving. However, there were widespread perceived transfusion risks, including: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission, too rapid blood infusion and blood incompatibility. Other concerns were: fatality, changes in behaviour, donor blood being ‘too strong’ and use of animal blood. In contrast, recent transfusion, older age, knowledge of HIV screening of blood for transfusion, faith in God and having a critically ill child were associated with less fear about transfusion. Respondents also emphasised challenges to transfusion services access including distance to hospitals, scarcity of blood and health workers' attitudes. Conclusion: Perceptions of the community and caregivers of transfused children in Uganda about blood transfusion were complex: transfusion is considered life-saving but there were strong perceived transfusion risks of HIV transmission and blood incompatibility. Addressing community perceptions and facilitating access to blood transfusion represent important strategies to improve paediatric transfusion care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
JournalTransfusion Medicine
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Dhabangi, A., Idro, R., John, C. C., Dzik, W. H., Opoka, R., Siu, G. E., ... van Hensbroek, M. B. (2019). Caregivers and community perceptions of blood transfusion for children with severe anaemia in Uganda. Transfusion Medicine, 29(1), 61-67. https://doi.org/10.1111/tme.12581
Dhabangi, A. ; Idro, R. ; John, C. C. ; Dzik, W. H. ; Opoka, R. ; Siu, G. E. ; Ayebare, F. ; van Hensbroek, M. B. / Caregivers and community perceptions of blood transfusion for children with severe anaemia in Uganda. In: Transfusion Medicine. 2019 ; Vol. 29, No. 1. pp. 61-67.
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Dhabangi, A, Idro, R, John, CC, Dzik, WH, Opoka, R, Siu, GE, Ayebare, F & van Hensbroek, MB 2019, 'Caregivers and community perceptions of blood transfusion for children with severe anaemia in Uganda' Transfusion Medicine, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 61-67. https://doi.org/10.1111/tme.12581

Caregivers and community perceptions of blood transfusion for children with severe anaemia in Uganda. / Dhabangi, A.; Idro, R.; John, C. C.; Dzik, W. H.; Opoka, R.; Siu, G. E.; Ayebare, F.; van Hensbroek, M. B.

In: Transfusion Medicine, Vol. 29, No. 1, 01.02.2019, p. 61-67.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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