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Hepatitis B and C Viral Infections Among Blood Donors from Rural Ghana

B Nkrumah
M Owusu
HO Frempong
P Averu


Objective: To investigate the prevalence of Hepatitis B and C infections and co-infections among blood donors in a rural community of Ghana. Design: A retrospective study. Method: Samples of blood donated between January 2007 and December 2008 were screen for Hepatitis B and C viruses at the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital. Results: The prevalence of Hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection was highest in females 21.4% (95% CI: 11.6-34.4) in 2006 than males in the same year 13.2% (95% CI: 10.8-15.9). Hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection was highest among males at11.6% (95% CI: 9.5-13.8) in 2007. HBV and HCV co-infection was higher in males 2.6% (95% CI: 1.6-3.8) than females 1.3% (95% CI: 0-7.0) in 2007. The overall prevalence of HBV and HCV was 13.8% (95% CI: 11.4-16.4) and 9.4% (95% CI: 7.4-11.6) respectively in 2006. The rate of co-infection of HBV and HCV however increased from 1.6% (95% CI: 0.8-2.7) in 2006 to 2.2% (95% CI: 1.3-3.2) in 2008 in males and from 0% (95% CI: 0-6.4) in 2006 to 1.2% (95% CI: 0-6.5) in 2008 in females. Conclusion: The single infections of HBV and HCV reduced but co-infection of these transfusion transmitted infections (TTI) increased. Measures such as more sensitive techniques and education must be employed in these areas.

Keywords: Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, blood transfusion, co-infection, blood donors

Ghana Medical Journal, September 2011, Volume 45, Number 3

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print ISSN: 0016-9560