SEROPREVALENCE OF HEPATITIS B AND C – REPORT OF A PUBLIC HEALTH OUTREACH IN SOUTH-WEST NIGERIA BY THE ENLIGHTENMENT INITIATIVE ON VIRAL HEPATITIS
Keywords:Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Liver Disease, Prevalence, Population, Nigeria
Hepatitis B virus infection is the commonest cause of chronic liver disease in Nigeria with its attendant complications. Majority of Nigerians do not know their status, therefore there is a need to routinely screen the populace to detect those who are infected. The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of Hepatitis B and C among the participants of a public health outreach. This was an observational cross-sectional study conducted by the Enlightenment Initiative on Viral Hepatitis during the 2022 World Hepatitis Day. Consenting patients attending the General Out-Patient Clinic of the hospital were counselled and screened for HBsAg and Anti-HCV using Rapid Test Kits. Consenting members of staff of the hospital were also counselled and screened. A total number of 171 patients participated in the free screening exercise; 53 males (31%) and 118 females (69%) with a mean(±SD) age of 37.27±13.65. Seventy-five members of staff of the hospital also participated in the free screening exercise; 29 males (38.7%) and 46 females (61.3%) with a mean(±SD) age of 43.36±6.48. All the 171 patients were screened for HBsAg and 7(4.1%) were found to be reactive. Similarly, all the 75 members of staff were screened for HBsAg and 1 (1.3%) was found to be reactive. Furthermore, 50 of the patients were screened for anti-HCV and 3(6.0%) of them were found to be reactive. Hepatitis B and C viruses are very much prevalent in our environment. The importance of routine screening for these viruses in our population cannot be overemphasized
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