Epidemiology of Hepatitis C Virus in the private blood banking sector in Osogbo, Southwest Nigeria
Background: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is an agent of Transfusion Transmissible Infection (TTI) which serves as a threat to blood safety and sufficiency of blood and blood products supply.
Objectives: This study aimed at determining the distribution patterns of HCV among potential blood donors in a private Blood Bank in Osogbo, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: Over a period of 6 months, 290 consenting prospective blood donors were recruited for this study by convenient sampling technique. Pre-test counseling was done, before blood specimen collection and laboratory serological analysis was carried out, using third generation Enzyme Immunoassay Technique.
Results: The mean age of the respondents was 35.99 ±10.94 years. A total of 6 participants (2.07%) tested positive for anti-HCV. In this study, HCV prevalence has no association with age and blood type, but it does with the donor type, where the prevalence is higher among commercial blood donors.
Conclusion: The rates were lower than the previous studies in Nigeria perhaps this is due to the positive effect of public awareness on transfusion transmissible infections and the fact that majority of the donors were regular donors. Blood transfusion services should be further strengthened by establishment of blood transfusion committees at State level, to regulate and monitor the practice, especially in the private sector, with a view to ensure that stringent criteria are adhered to in blood donors’ selection.
Keywords: Blood Safety, Hepatitis C Virus, Serology and Private sector.
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