Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Africa: a review
AbstractHepatitis C virus (HCV) is a viral pandemic and a leading cause of chronic liver disease. This review highlights the epidemiology and management of Hepatitis C in Africa. We searched for articles on medline using the terms, "Hepatitis C", "Prevalence", "Epidemiology", "Africa" and "Treatment". The bibliographies of the articles found were used to find other references. We included articles published after 1995 only. The data was summarized and presented in tables and figures. Africa has the highest WHO estimated regional HCV prevalence (5.3%). Egypt has the highest prevalence (17.5%) of HCV in the world. Genotypes commonly found in Africa are 1, 4 and 5. Genotype 3 is found in Egypt and parts of Central Africa. Blood transfusion is a major means of acquisition of HCV infection. While treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin is recommended for patients with chronic HCV, no data were found on their use in Africa. Neither were there any data on definitive management (liver transplantation) for those with end stage disease. Data on HCV infection in Africa are scarce. This suggests that hepatitis C is still a neglected disease in many countries. Limited data exist in literature on HCV in Africa.
Pan African Medical Journal 2013; 14:44