Knowledge and level of awareness of renal transplantation among medical students in Nigeria
Augustine O Takure1, Sylvester O Alikah2, Vincent C Onuora3
1Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria; 2Department of Pediatrics, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Nigeria; 3Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Igbinedion University, Okada, Benin, Nigeria
Background: Although renal transplantation has been available since 2000 in Nigeria at St Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, only 134 procedures have been performed as of March 2010. This may be related to the level of knowledge of medical practitioners in the Nigerian communities. Our medical students come from different communities, and assessing their level of awareness may contribute to better utilization of the available resources for renal transplantation in our country. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge and level of awareness of renal transplantation among medical students in a potential university transplant center.
Methods: A 10-item questionnaire was administered to fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-year medical students at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Nigeria. The data obtained were analyzed using standard simple statistical tools in Microsoft Excel Office 2007.
Results: The level of participation of respondents was 69.6%; mean age was 26.2 (range 21–45) years. Seventy percent of the respondents were males. The majority of the respondents had obtained information on renal transplantation from school lectures, electronic media, and the Internet. Many were also aware of the indications, pretransplant evaluation, and renal transplant complications. Only five (3.2%) knew of the four existing renal transplant centers in Nigeria. In total, 79.1% knew of living donors, while 11.4% knew of cadaveric donors. One hundred and three respondents (65.2%) were aware of open surgery for recipient transplantation, while 125 (79.1%) knew of open or laparoscopic procedures for donor nephrectomy.
Conclusion: The medical students in this sample lacked knowledge about the number of hospitals that offered renal transplantation, as well as about issues relating to cadaveric organ donation in Nigeria.
Keywords: medical students, renal transplantation, knowledge