Surveillance of anti-HCV antibody amongst in-school youth in a Nigeria university
Infection with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is a public health problem. Worldwide, there are about 170 million people infected with HCV. HCV is transmitted through sex and use of contaminated sharp objects during tattooing or intravenous drug abuse. These routes make youth to be more vulnerable. Transfusion and mother to child transmissions are also documented modes. This study was carried out to determine sero-prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection among in school youth at Achievers University, Owo in southwest Nigeria. Samples of blood were collected from 70 undergraduate students and sera harvested were tested for the presence of antibodies against hepatitis C virus by Enzyme Immunoassay Technique. Most participants fall within age range 21-25 (91.4%). The study showed that none of the subjects was positive for anti- HCV antibodies. Education and awareness level might have impacted positively on this outcome. Thus routine screening for HCV and sustained awareness creation activities to eradicate HCV and its attendant consequences from our society is of paramount importance.
Key words: HCV, prevalence, in-school youth, education.