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Introduction: Organ donation has become an effective therapy for end-stage organ failure. There is considerable gap between the number of persons requiring organ and tissue transplantation and the number of organs and tissues available.
Aim: To assess the prevalence, perception, willingness and determinants of organ donation among students in tertiary institutions in Imo State, South East Nigeria.
Methodology: This was an institution based descriptive cross-sectional study. A total of 600 undergraduates participated in the study and were selected using multi-stage sampling technique. Data collection was done using a structured self-administered questionnaire. The responses were collated and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20. The level of statistical significance was set at p-value of ≤ 0.05.
Results: The mean age of respondents was 21.3 ± 5.0 years. Awareness of organ donation was 86.0% and major sources of information were electronic media (76.9%), print media (64.1%) and health workers (55.8%). Prevalence of organ donation in this study was 3.8% and majority of the recipients (74.0%) were family members. Organ donation was significantly associated with gender and tribe (p < 0.05). Willingness to donate organ in this study was 23.1% and independent predictors of willingness to donate organ were gender (OR = 1.61, p = 0.02), level of study (OR = 8.47, p = 0.04) and nature of students’ accommodation (OR = 4.59, p < 0.000).
Conclusion: There is a huge gap between awareness of organ donation, the willingness to donate organ and the actual act of organ donation. Efforts should be intensified to inform the populace of the benefits and possible side effects of organ donation to enable them make informed decisions.
Chinyere M. Aguocha, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria