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Predictors of Seroprevalence of Hepatitis C Infection among Health Care Workers in Nigeria; A Year after Post Implementation of Nigeria’s National Hepatitis Prevention Policy

Theresa Nwagha, Babatunde I Omotowo, Uchenna N Ijoma, Ijeoma A Meka, Obinna D Onodugo, Ebele V Okoli, Chinwe L Onyekonwu, Olive Obienu, Anne Chigedu Ndu and Emmanuel O Ugwu

Global Journal of Health Science, 2021, vol. 13, issue 7, 32

Abstract: BACKGROUND- Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a global public health issue. Health care workers (HCWs) are particularly at risk. Nigeria hepatitis prevention policy aims to achieve country wide elimination of hepatitis through early detection using mass screening with life-style modifications of “at risk population” which are key preventive strategies. AIM- To determine the seroprevalence of HCV infection among HCWs in a large regional referral hospital in Nigeria METHODS- A hospital-based descriptive cross-sectional study (hepatitis mass screening) was done at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria between July and August 2016. Non-randomised sampling was used. Blood samples were assayed for antibodies to HCV. Data on knowledge, risk factors and mode of transmission were collected using a structured, pre-validated, pretested, questionnaire and analysed using SPSS version 20. RESULTS- A total of 3132 out of 5144 (60.9%) HCWs participated in the study. The seroprevalence of hepatitis C among UNTH staff was 0.90% (28/3132). The mean knowledge score of 68.95% ± 24.23 and 56.70±17.25 translates to fair knowledge level about mode of transmission and risk of transmission of hepatitis C among HCWs, respectively. There was no reported case of hepatitis B and C co-infection. Females HCWs had highest sero-prevalence for HCV 17/5144 (0.33%) (P = 0.164, AOR= 1.76, 95%CI =0.431-2.413) CONCLUSION- This study found a low seropositivity of HCV among HCWs. A pointer to the possible success of the hospital-based education awareness programme, an implementation of Nigeria’s national hepatitis prevention policy.

Date: 2021
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