Organ donation (OD) is the most effective therapy for end-stage organ failure. It is known that eight people can benefit from one donor. Yet, there is a permanent shortage of organs due to increasing demand vs. decreasing availability of organs for many reasons. This study aimed at describing the level of awareness and the attitudes toward OD among university students at An-Najah National University (ANU) as young individuals are potential donors and may represent their families and environment attitudes and believes.
A cross sectional study, using a self-administered questionnaire in Arabic, previously used in a similar study in Gaza University, was carried out at ANU in Nablus - West bank from December 2018 to April 2019. Sociodemographic data and information about knowledge and attitude towards OD were collected. 472 students were recruited using proportionate stratified random sampling from all faculties then conveniently from each faculty after obtaining their consent. SPSS version 21 was used for the statistical analysis for which the significance level was set at p value less than 0.05. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board committee at ANU.
Findings: The mean age of the enrolled students was 21 years (SD3.06).433 were graduates (91.7%).467(98.9%) participants have heard about OD. The common source of information was found to be the Media for 55.5% of them. 76.3% of respondents have a positive attitude toward OD while they are alive being altruism the most prevalent motivation (76.8%) while 13% would do it for money.70% reported the possible risks related to OD, mainly general weakness (17.1%) and infection (10.6%). The willingness to donate after death was particularly high (64%) which was found to be statistically associated with: sex (p=0.023) and type of faculty (p=0.01) but did show association neither with age nor with marital status (p=0.986 and p=0.508 respectively). Being a family member was the condition for living donation in 30% of the cases. 54.5 % ignore if there is any national law regulating OD. 58% did not know the religious allowance of OD. Regarding the permissions, 61% have chosen a family member in case of donation after death while in case of living donation, 74% selected the donor itself.31.3% would not promote OD mainly for misuse (30%) and fear of organ traffic (31.4%).Among the sample, one patient was a donor of a kidney for a family member.
The study reflects a good level of awareness and knowledge towards organ donation among An-Najah National University students which was similar the reported among Gaza students. Promotion of aspects related to the risks and consequences of organ donation, the legislations behind it and the position of religion are deemed necessary, specially using mass media.
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SB designed the project protocol. RA, NA, collected the data , applied for ethical approval and analyzed the data with the guidance of SB. All authors contributed in the elaboration of the project, read and approved the final version of the Abstract for publication.
Conflict of Interest:
We declare that we have no conflicts of interest.
Organ donation, knowledge, attitude, university students, Palestine.