Hepatitis B surface antigenemia (HBsAg) among pregnant women in southern Nigeria

  • BT Utoo


Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is one of the most common public health problems worldwide. Over one million people die annually of HBV- related chronic liver disease. Maternal to fetal transmission from chronic carriers exceeds 90% and accounts for up to 40% of the world’s chronic carriers in endemic areas.
Methods: This was a descriptive study which involved Serial recruitment of 836 women attending the antenatal clinic at a health facility in Cross-River State, Nigeria from 1st January to 30th June 2010. HBsAg screening was done using an ELISA test.
Results: Fifty five (6.6%) of the 836 women screened tested positive for HBsAg. The mean age and parity of sero-positive subjects was 26.9 ±5.0 (range 18-38 years) and 2.2±1.2 (0 to 5) respectively. The prevalence was more in women who were farmers (29.1%) and those with either none or low level of formal education (67.2%).
Conclusion: Sero-prevalence of 6.6% among pregnant women is reported. Women education, economic empowerment and public enlightenment programmes focused on modification of risky social lifestyle is recommended. Efforts to promote routine screening of pregnant women, immunization and vaccination of infants should be sustained.

Keywords: Sero-prevalence, Hepatitis B virus, routine screening, immunization

African Health Sciences 2013; 13(4): 1139 - 1143

Author Biography

BT Utoo
Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi, GPO Box 239 Makurdi, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1680-6905