Hepatitis C virus seroprevalence among mothers delivering at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Ghana
AbstractObjectives: To determine the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) carrier rate among mothers, and to determine if selected sociodemographic characteristics are associated with HCV seropositivity.
Design: Maternity Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH).
Setting: A cross-sectional serological survey of mothers delivering at the KBTH.
Methods: Women who had singleton live births and fresh stillbirths in the two labour wards of the KBTH were randomly selected for screening from 1st March to 30th September, 2001. A structured pre-tested questionnaire was used by trained research assistants to collect and record data on medical and sociodemographic characteristics of the subjects. Maternal blood samples were taken and stored at the Public Health Reference Laboratory. The second generation Murex diagnostics ELISA kit was used to test the maternal sera for HCV antibodies.
Results: Sixteen (2.5%, 95% CI, 1.5-4.1%) of the 638 subjects were HCV seropositive. None of the medical and sociodemographic characteristics examined showed any association with HCV seropositivity. No subject or her sexual partner was a drug injector.
Conclusion: The carrier rate of 2.5% of HCV infection found in this study is near the top end of the range found in unselected pregnant populations from other parts of the world. Knowing the prevalence rate of HCV infection in our pregnant population will help policy-makers on the cost effectiveness of available intervention measures.
East African Medical Journal Vol. 81 No. 4 April 2004: 198-201