Sociodemographic characteristics of study participants
In this study a total of 401 (259 male and 142 female) study participants was included. The response rate was 99.5% (401/403). The mean age of study participants was 26.2 ± 8.2 years ranging from 18 – 57 years old. The majority 212 (52.9%) of them was in the age group of 18 – 23 years. More than half 235 (58.6%) of the donors had been attending higher education. Majority 188 (46.9%) and 281 (70.1%) of the study participants were students and single in marital status, respectively (Table 1).
Knowledge of study participants
From the total study participants, 142 (35.4%) had adequate knowledge towards blood donation. The mean knowledge score of the participants was 4.03 ± 1.44. All of the study participants argued that the importance of blood donation is to save life. From the total study participants, 380 (94.8%) of them had information regarding screening of donated blood for infectious disease before transfusion. But only 20 (5.0%) of the study participants knew HIV, hepatitis virus and syphilis are considered as transfusion transmittable infections (additional file 1).
Attitude of the study participants
Nearly all (379 (94.5%)) of the study participants had favorable attitude towards blood donation. The mean attitude score of the participants was 7.48 ± 1.23. Majority 365 (91.0%) of the participants had a plan to donate blood voluntarily in the future and about 360 (89.8%) of the study participants had plan to become a regular blood donor. Majority 373 (93%) of the study participants had a perception of donation is not harmful to donors (additional file 1).
Previous practice of blood donation
Less than one quarter 58 (14.5%) of study participants had previous history of donation and more than half 229 (57.1%) of them study participants were replacement type of donors. Several factors have been mentioned as a reason for not donating blood previously. About 139 (40.5%) of the blood donors mentioned lack of information (when, where and how to donate) as the main reason for not donating blood previously. Fear of pain, perceptions of unfitting to donate and consideration of donation as harmful practice had also been mentioned as a reason for not donating blood previously.
Factor associated with knowledge of blood donors
In bivariate logistic regression analysis, all socio-demographic variables i.e. age, gender, educational status, occupation, residence, marital status, previous donation and donor type were significantly associated with knowledge of study participants. But in multivariate logistic regression analysis educational status, residence, previous donation history and donor type were significantly associated. Study participants who attained higher education (AOR = 2.8, 95% CI: 1.35, 6) and those who lived in urban (AOR = 2.5, 95% CI: 1.26, 4.81), history of previous donation (AOR = 2.2, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.48) and being volunteer blood donors (AOR = 3.1, 95%CI: 1.5, 6.56) were more likely to have adequate knowledge. Age, gender, marital status and occupation were not showed a statistically significant association with knowledge (Table 2).
Factor associated with attitude of blood donors
Bivariate logistic regression analysis showed that age, educational status, occupation, residence and marital status were significantly associated with attitude of participants. While in multivariate logistic regression analysis none of them were statistically significant. Variables such as gender, previous donation history and donor type did not fulfil the criteria for logistic regression analysis and were excluded from analysis (Table 3).