Blood Donor Deferrals for Malaria in Iran: A Five-Year Retrospective Study
AbstractBackground: Malaria is one of the most important transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs) worldwide. To prevent the occurrence of transfusion-transmitted malaria (TTM), potential blood donors with a history of malaria or travel to, or residence in, malarious areas are permanently or temporarily deferred from donating blood. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the blood donor deferrals for malaria in Iran. Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in the Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization (IBTO) from 21 Mar 2011 to 19 Mar 2016 (5 yr). The data were collected and extracted from IBTO comprehensive database, namely Negareh, and then recorded in a structured template form. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS. Results: Of the 12,790,859 blood donation volunteers, 23,084 (0.18%) were deferred due to the risk of malaria. More than 90% of malaria-deferrals were because of travel to and residence in malaria endemic areas. Among the malaria-deferred volunteers, 22,139 (95.91%) were male and 945 (4.09%) were female; 2,053 (8.89%) were permanently deferred, while 21,031 (91.11%) were temporarily deferred. The highest malaria-deferral rates were observed in South Khorasan (0.82%), Razavi Khorasan (0.79%) and Yazd (0.54%) provinces, respectively. Conclusion: Given the prevalence of malaria in neighboring countries (Pakistan and Afghanistan) and several provinces of Iran and the increasing human migration and movement between malaria non-endemic and endemic areas, the malaria-deferral rate might be higher than 0.18% in Iran. Thus, the changing, as well as the precise and accurate implementation of donor selection process must be considered in all blood transfusion centers of Iran.
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