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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-18

Assessment of Nigerian blood transfusion centers' capacity for provision of convalescent plasma for treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients

1 Department of Haematology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
2 iMMAP, Maiduguri, Nigeria
3 Department of Haematology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital; Department of Haematology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital/Bayero University Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Aisha Kuliya-Gwarzo
Department of Haematology, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital/Bayero University, Kano, Postal code 700233, PMB 3452, Kano State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/atp.atp_56_20

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Background and Objectives: With the data from small clinical trials leading to the emergency authorization of convalescent plasma (CP) as one of the treatment options of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States, countries across the world are likely to key in as the race toward discovering evidence-based treatment and vaccines continues. We assessed Nigerian blood transfusion services' preparedness to provide CP support for patients with moderate-to-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. Materials and Methods: We conducted an online survey using a questionnaire designed to assess the Nigerian blood centers' existing capacity. Forty-two tertiary facilities were selected, and a questionnaire was E-mailed to the selected blood bank staff of each center. Responses were collated and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: The majority of the facilities had neither apheresis (73.5% [25 of 34]) nor cold centrifuge (55.9% [19 of 34]) for blood components collection or preparations. Family replacement blood donors contributed 51%–90% of the donations in 70.6% (24 of 34) of the centers. Only 2.9% of the centers had an existing capacity for using nucleic acid to screen transfusion transmissible infections, and only one center reported the capacity for pathogen inactivation of blood components. None of the centers provide leukodepletion for blood components. Conclusion: At the current state, Nigerian blood transfusion services are incapable of providing adequate and safe CP for COVID-19 treatment. Efforts should be made to invest in this critical health service area to take advantage of the readily available CP to reduce mortality and morbidity associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and other disorders.

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