Prevalence and Socio-Demographics of Hepatitis B Surface Antiginaemia among Secondary school Children in an urban community Southeast Nigeria: A Cross sectional study
Prevalence and Socio-Demographics of Hepatitis B Surface Antiginaemia
Keywords:Prevalence, Endemicity, Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Sociodemographics
Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is responsible for a prevalent infectious disease in the world which is of public health importance due to its risk of chronicity with attendant high morbidity and mortality. Although it is a vaccine preventable disease, Nigeria is still highly endemic for HBV. The aim of the study was to determine the seroprevalence of Hepatitis B surface antigenemia and sociodemographic characteristics among secondary school students in Onitsha.
Methods: This is a cross sectional descriptive study of Hepatitis B surface antigenemia in secondary schools’ students in Onitsha, South-East Nigeria. Participants were recruited using a multi-staged sampling technique and their HBsAg status was determined using MonalisaTM HBsAg Ultra ELISA kit.
Results: Out of the 751 students assessed, 57 were sero-positive to HBsAg giving a prevalence of 7.6%. The prevalence was more in males than females and students in the higher socioeconomic class were least affected. The highest prevalence was observed among students within the age group of 14-16years. Only 4.3% of the students had received HBV vaccine.
Conclusion: The endemicity of Hepatitis B in the study population calls for urgent action. This is because the infected students can be reservoirs for horizontal transmission. Furthermore, asymptomatic HBV infection can progress to chronic complications like liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Therefore, the introduction of vaccination of adolescents against HBV in the school health program will be an effective way of controlling the high prevalence of HBV infection in this population.
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