Seroprevalence of Hepatitis C Virus in People Exposed to Traditional Surgical Procedures in Edo State, Nigeria
AbstractTraditional surgical practice involves the use of sharp instruments for marking or incising the body of individuals. These surgical instruments are often reused on different persons without sterilization; thereby exposing them to bloodborne infections. This study was therefore undertaken to determine the seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in people who had been exposed to traditional surgical practices in Edo State, Nigeria. Sera from the subjects were tested for HCV antibodies using Clinotech Diagnostic test device supplied by Clinotech Diagnostic and Pharmaceuticals, Canada. Seropositivity was found in 4.8% (62/1,304) of subjects with history of traditional surgery, while those without such exposure had seropositivity of 1.9% (13/682) (P<0.05). People with history of traditional surgery were more likely to be
infected with HCV than those without surgery. Traditional surgery appears to play a significant role in the transmission of HCV infection in this locality.