Prevalence of Hepatitis-B infection among Pregnant Women in a Primary Healthcare Centre in Abuja, Nigeria

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.04.04.Art057

Authors : Orji Ikechukwu Anthony


Background: Hepatitis B is adjudged to be one of the most infectious diseases in the world and a major public health problem with about 5% of the world population as asymptomatic carriers translating to 350 million people harboring hepatitis B virus (HBV) globally. Chronic infection with HBV occurs in up to 90% of infants infected at birth, 30% for children aged one year to five years, and 6% from six years and above. Thus, prevention of perinatal infection is an important strategy to reducing the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B infection in Nigeria being an endemic country. Emphasis therefore is placed on the screening of all pregnant women for HBsAg during the antenatal visit so as to detect positive women whose new borne will need prophylaxis to reduce the risk of contracting the infection.

Objectives: 1. to determine the percentage of pregnant women who were screened for Hepatitis B at PHC Karu, Abuja in 2013.2. To determine the sero-prevalence of Hepatitis B among pregnant women screened at PHC Karu, Abuja, in 2013.3. To determine whether the policy of prophylaxis against peri-natal infection for neonates of sero-positive mothers were strictly followed at this PHC during the review period.

Methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study which used secondary data extracted from antenatal registers, laboratory registers, HBsAg-positive patients’ antenatal and delivery case notes for the period under review – Jan.-Dec. 2013.

Results: All the 856 pregnant women who registered for ANC in this PHC were offered HBsAg screening, 99.3% (850) complied with the screening, and 8.5% (72) sero-prevalence recorded. All the positive cases were referred to secondary health facility for HBIG prophylaxis; however no follow-up was done to ascertain the outcome.

Conclusion: The high endemic rate of HBV infection, (8.5% prevalence) requires more effort at preventing the vertical transmission. 100% screening rate for all ANC clients is highly encouraged as well as 100% follow up rate for exposed infants’ HBIG prophylaxis.

Keywords: Prevalence, asymptomatic, HBV infection, pregnant women, Primary Healthcare Centre, HBsAg screening.


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