The prevalence of HBsAg, knowledge and practice of hepatitis B prevention among pregnant women in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts of the South West region of Cameroon: a three-year retrospective study
Introduction: hepatitis B infection is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV is transmitted through sexual intercourse, by exchange of saliva during kissing and also to newborns of infected mothers. In the Global Burden of Diseases 2010, 786,000 deaths were attributed to HBV. Studies in Cameroon, reported the prevalence of HBV as high as 10.1% and 12% among blood donors in hospital blood banks. This study therefore, aims at determining the prevalence of HBsAg, knowledge and practices of pregnant women on HBV prevention and transmission in the Limbe health district (LHD) and Muyuka health district (MHD).
Methods: ANC registers were exploited from the health centers for a period of three years (2014-2016) in order to determine the prevalence of HBV infection. 270 women attending ANC were selected by exhaustive sampling. Knowledge and practices of participants on HBV prevention and transmission was assessed using a structured questionnaire.
Results: the prevalence of HBV in the LHD and MHD were 5.7% and 7.5% respectively. Pregnant women in the LHD demonstrated good knowledge but adopted poor practices whereas in the MHD, pregnant women demonstrated poor knowledge and adopted poor practices regarding the mode of transmission and prevention of HBV infection. There was a significant association between the prevalence of HBsAg and marital status (p = 0.000) in the LHD and age (p = 0.022) in the MHD.
Conclusion: this study indicated a high prevalence of HBV among pregnant women in the LHD and MHD, knowledge and practices were identified as potential risk factors.