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Awareness, Attitude and Practice of General Population regarding Corneal Donation in Asser region, KSA

Waleed A Aldhabaan, Rishi K. Bharti, Hayfa AlHefdhi, Abdulbari A Alzahrani, Abdussalam M Alqhtani, Khalid H Almutairi, Ziyad M H Alkhammash, Fatimah J A Ghazwani, Hashem A Alghamdi, Mozoon M Alqhtani, Alia M Alqhtani, Faisal A Alqahtani, Nimesh A.

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Background: Organ transplantation is the most definitive treatment for end-stage organ disease and organ failure. Fortunately, corneal blindness is fully reversible with a corneal transplant. Corneal transplant is the most frequently performed transplant surgery worldwide and the most successful human organ transplant type. Corneal transplantation is an effective treatment option for many patients with corneal disease. Unfortunately, a major limiting factor in performing corneal transplants is the availability of donor tissue. The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices of the general population regarding corneal donation in the Aseer region, south of Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional approach was used targeting all populations in the Aseer region. The study was conducted during the period from December 2019 to March 2020. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire developed by the researchers. The questionnaire data included a person's socio-demographic data. Participants' awareness regarding corneal donation was assessed using 9 questions on three domains. The participant's practices and attitudes regarding organ donation were also assessed within the questionnaire.
Results: A total of 1016 participants were included in the survey whose ages ranged from 18 to 55 years old. Females were 590 (58.1%) of the survey respondents. The exact 490 participants heard about corneal donation (48.2%). About 53% of the participants refused that a living person can donate his eyes. A good awareness level regarding corneal donation was recorded for less than one-quarter of the participants. Considering participants' attitudes toward corneal donation (Table 3), 390 (38.4%) of the participants recorded their tendency to donate their eyes after death.
Conclusions & recommendations: In conclusion, corneal donation awareness is very low worldwide and in Saudi Arabia. Participants' awareness levels and attitudes were unsatisfactory. The barriers recorded were factors related to lack of knowledge and religious related or fatwa.

Key words: Corneal donation, transplantation, population, awareness, practice, attitude, determinants

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