Studies on Prevalence and Risk Factors for Hepatitis B Surface Antigen among Secondary School Students in North-central, Nigeria
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) Infection is one of the major global public health problems, with its attendant risks especially among the young adults. This study was therefore carried out to assess the sero-prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and associated risk factors among students of a secondary school in Jagindi Tasha, Kaduna State, Nigeria. One hundred and ninety (190) apparently healthy students were screened and sera samples obtained were separated and analysed for HBsAg using a commercially available Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)-based kit (Dialab). Information was obtained for risk factors using structured questionnaire. Out of the 190 samples screened, 35 (18.4%) were sero-positive. Subjects aged 13-15 years recorded 6.8% positivity (x2 = 1.084; p>0.05) and male subjects had 25.5% positivity compared to 10.9% positivity for females (x2 = 6.768; p<0.05). Risk factors such as blood transfusion was 32.0% among male subjects compared to 30.0% in females (x2 =18.07; p-value = 0.113). Furthermore, alcoholic consumption, the predominant lifestyle of the youths in this community was 20.0% among male subjects as compared to none in females. Unfortunately, the prevalence of HBV appears high among the studied population. This suggests that public awareness on the virus be accorded urgent attention, while vaccination programme should be improved in the community.