Patterns of Hepatitis B and C exposure, susceptibility and vaccination status among healthcare workers at Parirenyatwa Hospital, Zimbabwe
Objectives: To determine Hepatitis B vaccine coverage among healthcare workers at a tertiary hospital in Zimbabwe, and to describe the patterns of chronic HBVand HCVinfections.
Setting: Parirenyatwa Hospital,
Subjects: Doctors and nurses
Results: One hundred and fifty-two participants (48 doctors and 104 nurses) were recruited. Four were positive for HBsAg (prevalence 2.6% ,95% CI, 1.0 6.6), 142 (93.4%) were positive for anti-HBc (i.e. previously exposed to HBV), and 120 (78.9%) were positive for anti-HBs. Although 74 (48.7%) healthcare workers reported prior vaccination, only 6 (3.9%) had consistent serology. Four healthcare workers were susceptible to HBV. Doctors were more likely to be vaccinated than nurses, while nurses who trained at Parirenyatwa hospital (Odds ratio; 2.7, 95% CI 1.2 - 6.2) were more likely to be vaccinated than those from other institutions. There were no cases of HCVinfection.
Conclusion: The high frequency of natural immunity to hepatitis B among healthcare workers in this study suggests that susceptibility testing should be performed before vaccination. There is need for equitable, comprehensive national policy for the prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis Zimbabwe.