Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) among Children of Primary School Age in a Community, North-Central, Nigeria

  • JA Ndako
  • GON Echeonwu
  • AO Olabode
  • OO Nwankiti
  • SO Aimakhu
  • EM Onovoh
  • J Chukwuekezie
  • JM Banda
  • GA Paul
Keywords: Children, HBsAg, Primary school, Seroprevalence

Abstract

Globally, Hepatitis B Virus has been identified as one of the most common infectious diseases and a major public health problem.This study was therefore carried out to assess the prevalence of Hepatitis B virus infection among primary school children attending LGE primary school, Sabon Pegi, Kuru, Nigeria. Three hundred and sixty (360) blood samples were collected from the pupils and sera separated and analyzed for HBsAg using one step Hepatitis B surface antigen test strip. Of the 360 samples screened, 35 (9.7%) were sero-positive. Pupils within the age 7-9 years had the highest prevalence of 3.9%. Male subjects recorded a prevalence of 6.1% compared to 3.6% for females. Risk factors such as blood transfusion recorded 1.6%. Furthermore, family history of HBV infection accounted for 3.6%, while male subjects that had traditional method of circumcision recorded a high prevalence of 3.3%. Unfortunately, the prevalence of this ravaging infectious agent appears to be high amongst the subjects studied. It is strongly suggested that public awareness be accorded urgent attention while socioeconomic development in these areas be given priority as a measure to preventing further spread of this virus amongst children, particularly the school age group. Key words: Children, HBsAg, Primary school, Seroprevalence
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eISSN: 2076-6270
print ISSN: 2076-6270