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Seroprevalence of Hepatitis C Viral Antibodies among Pregnant Women in a Health Facility in Niger-Delta, Nigeria

BT Utoo
PM Utoo


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is an important health problem with an increasing number of patients acquiring the virus. Some infected patients are known to develop liver cirrhosis and /or possible hepatocellular carcinoma. This study was designed to find out the seroprevalence of hepatitis C viral antibodies among antenatal attendees in a mission hospital in Niger-Delta, Nigeria. This was a cross-sectional study in which ELISA test was done on consented consecutive antenatal attendees from 1st January to 30th June 2010. Eight hundred and thirty six (836) pregnant women were counselled and screened for HCV antibodies. Out of this number, 24(2.87%) tested positive for HCV antibodies. Their mean age and parity were 25.5 ± 4.5 years and 2.2 ± 1.1 respectively. Most (75%) of the sero-positive subjects had little level or no formal education; were older in age (37.5%) and mostly (37.5%) engaged in commercial activities. Education, public health enlightenment, women empowerment, modification of risky behaviors among other intervention measures could help to reduce the high rate of HCV infection observed in the study.

Keywords: Seroprevalence, Hepatitis C virus, antibodies, pregnancy, Niger-Delta, Nigeria

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 63 No 4, 2013