Background: The need for blood transfusion is higher in African countries with higher morbidity of diseases leading to anemia. The mapping of access to transfusion can help to generate assumptions about determinants of limited access to transfusion.This project aimed to describe access to transfusion in West Cameroon.
. This was a cross sectional, descriptive study. Involved health districts and health facilities were randomly selected from the official list of the West Region of Cameroon. Data were collected in August 2015 by a team of four trained surveyors using a standardized questionnaire administered in face to face to the head of health facility or hisrepresentative.
Fifty-five health facilities eligible for transfusion in 12 health districts covering a total population of 1,711,211 inhabitants in 2015 were included. Forty-nine (89.1%) of these declared to transfuse patients and 4 (7.3%) to have a blood bank. None of these health facilities had a transfusion guideline and minimal needed equipment. Thus, the decision to transfuse, laboratory test performed, transfusion procedures, patient monitoring and waste management were not standardized. Blood banks were not supplying other health facilities but could receive and transfuse referred patients. In all targeted health facility, there was neither a tool nor register to verify the functionality of the reference system of patients from health facilities to those with blood bank. In 51 (92.7%) of health facilities without blood bank, families have to find blood donors and pay the per-transfusion testing when transfusion is prescribed. This was reported to delay transfusion or makes it impossible with dramatic consequences sometimes.
Access to transfusion is very limited in the west Cameroon because of limited access of health facilities to needed equipment, unavailability of guidelines for transfusion and limited financial and geographic access of population in need to transfusion. Interventions to improve the situation should target these weaknesses.