Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Hepatitis B Antigenaemia (HbS Ag): Risk Of Occupational Exposure In A Chemical Patholgy Laboratory In Nigeria

OA Ejele, AC Ojule


The prevalence of Hepatitis B. surface Antigen (Hbs Ag) is high in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria inclusive. We set out to assess the risk of occupational exposure to Hepatitis B virus (HIV) infection in medical laboratory workers in Nigeria by screening 200 consecutive serum samples processed over a two week period at the Chemical Pathology laboratory of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The Accustep Hbs Ag.Rapid Kit USA was used. Twenty nine (14.5%) of all the samples screened tested positive. For the adults, the serpositivity rate was 15.3% while it the 12.5% for children / adult.

The implications of these findings are discussed, especially with regards, to the risk of occupational exposure of laboratory and health workers. The provision of appropriate laboratory safety measures and regulations, and compliance with these are emphasized, especially in this environment
KEY WORDS: Hepatitis B virus, risk occupation exposure, laboratory workers, Nigeria
Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Vol.6(2) 2003: 99-101

AJOL African Journals Online