Author(s): Baye Gelaw, Yohannes Mengistu
Background : Blood serves as a vehicle for transmission of blood-borne pathogens including hepatitis viruses and hemoparasities. In northern parts of Ethiopia, screening of blood for blood-borne pathogens do not fulfill the standard protocols and screening for malaria parasites is not practi ced. Determination of the pr evalence of HBV, HCV and malaria parasites in a population in general, and blood-d onors in particular will certainly help in reviewing the screening procedures and making health policy decisions.
Objective : To determine the prevalence of HBV, HCV and malaria parasites among healthy adult blood-donors in Gondar, Bahirdar, Dessie and Mekele blood banks.
Method : Blood samples were collected using cross sectional survey from blood-donors in Northern part of Ethiopia. The socio-demographic characteristics of blood-donors were assessed using structured questionnaire. The collected blood samples were screened for HBV, HCV and malaria parasites. Results : The overall prevalence of HBV, HCV and malaria parasites were 6.2%, 1.7% and 1% respectively.
Conclusion : Screening blood donors for both HBV and HCV is indispensable for safe blood transfusion. Blood screening for malaria infection need to be included in daily donor selection programs in areas where malaria is endemic. In general, formulation of safe blood transfus ion policy and implementation of standard screening protocols should be practiced.