Awareness of Medical Students in Sudan towards Organ Donation and its Barriers; Intellectual, Cultural or Ethical?

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IntroductionOrgan transplantation is a lifesaving procedure for pateints with failing organs. Medical students, who are the future healthcare providers have a fundamental role in raising awareness and willingness of the public towards organ donation hence addressing the widening gap between supply and demand of organs particlarly in sub-saharan countries. Our study aims to assess the knowledge, ethical perception, attitude and perceived barriers towards the practice of organ donation amongst medical students.Methodologythis is a descriptive, cross sectional study in the Top 4 Universities of Sudan between March and April, 2017. Data was collected by self administered pre-tested & validated 60 item questionnaire observing systematic random sampling. 550 questionnaires were distributed with the following proportions 40%-Khartoum, 30% Ribat, 20% Zaeem Azhari and 10% Ahfad Universities. response rate was 77% and data was analysed using SPSS24.Resultsof the 393 participants, 70%(277) were females and 30%(116) were males. 89% were familiar with organ donation, knew its definition and successfully recognised that consent is required for donation. However, only 16% were satisfied with their knowledge about OD, and the main sources were social media (60%) and TV (51%). 46% of participants believe that curriculum does not exploit organ donation well. Despite almost 50% being fully supportive of organ donation, only 12% reflected a strong will to donate in the future. 60.1% were hesistant surprisingly mainly due to fear of threat to health (43.4%) rather than religious beliefs (75% idetified their religion; islam, supportive to donation, whilst 14% were uncertain). 73,.9% of students think community awareness and practice of organ donation is low, mainly identifying Knowledge deficiency as a barrier (53% of responses). Only 30% recognised religion & culture of the sudanese nation as a barrier, and even far less (20%) viewed ethical concerns as a barrier. all in all, 89% of students see a need for organ donation promotion mainly through awareness campaigns (67.7%)Conclusionthere is lack of sufficient knowledge on organ donation processes, as well as lack of satisfaction with curriculum content of Organ donation. knowledge can be strengthened in community by awareness campaigns but essentialy, educational curriculum must highlight organ donation importance in religiously and culturally acceptable context.

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