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Hepatitis B vaccination status among health workers in Enugu, Nigeria

RC Ibekwe
N Ibeziako


Background: Health workers in Nigeria are particularly at increased risk of contracting hepatitis B virus in their work place because Nigeria is a holoendemic area. Hepatitis B vaccination virtually eliminates this risk. There are few studies on the perception and uptake of hepatitis B vaccination among health workers in Nigeria and none to our knowledge in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu.

Objective: To determine the Hepatitis B vaccination level among all categories of health workers in UNTH, Enugu, and the factors that influence its uptake.

Method: The study was cross-sectional in design. Subjects were health workers likely to be exposed to patients and or their body fluids. The tool was a self administered pre-tested questionnaire and analysis was done using SPSS version 11.5 software.

Results: Fifty point four percent of the health workers felt that their jobs exposed them to an increased risk of contracting hepatitis B virus infection. There is a significant occupational difference in perception with only 5.5% of the ward attendants as against 67.9% of other workers feeling that their jobs exposed them to increased risk (P = 0.00). Twenty two point four percent had received Hepatitis B vaccination, 3.7% had received 3 or more doses. Only years of occupational practice had a significant influence on vaccination uptake (P = 0.00). The most common reason for non-vaccination was lack of opportunity (43.08%). Among the 53.7% of the respondents who had had needle stick injury, none received post exposure prophylaxis.

Conclusion: There is a low level of hepatitis B vaccination and no post exposure prophylaxis among health workers in UNTH, Enugu. This is due to poor perception of the risk of contracting this infection and non–availability of the vaccines.

Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Vol. 9(1) 2006: 7-10

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eISSN: 2229-7731
print ISSN: 1119-3077