Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen and Occupational Risk Factors Among Health Care Workers in Ekiti State, Nigeria LC16-LC18
Dr. Margaret Olutayo Alese,
Lecturer, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria.
Introduction: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is contracted from blood and other body fluid making healthcare workers (HCW) prone to the infection especially in the developing world. Though it is a vaccine preventable disease, the level of awareness and universal precaution among HCW is low in sub-Saharan African and Asia.
Aim: The study was aimed at determining the seroprevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen and occupational risk factors among health care workers at Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti.
Materials and Methods: One hundred and eighty-seven (187) blood samples were collected from volunteer subjects who comprised of medical doctors, nurses, health attendants, and porters who are in regular contact with blood, body fluids and patients after informed consent. Well detailed and structured questionnaires were used to obtain demographic and other relevant data from the subjects. Blood samples were tested by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for hepatitis B surface antigen.
Results: Out of the 187 HCWs there were 91 males (48.7%) and 96 (51.3%) females. Only 2 participants tested positive to hepatitis B surface antigen with a prevalence of 1.1%. Also, only 30 (16.0%) of the participants had been fully vaccinated against the infection while the remaining 157(84.0%) had no adult vaccination.
Conclusion: It is obvious that the awareness of the infection is low among the HCWs studied thus the need to incorporate screening for HbsAg and vaccination against HBV into the periodic/pre-employment health intervention programmes by employers to help in the protection of HCWs and control the spread of the virus.