Hepatitis B And C among Governmental Health Providers in Southern Gaza Strip, Palestine
AbstractCurrently, the risk of acquiring hepatitis B and C infection among healthcare personnel is high. A cross-sectional study of 399 health personnel was conducted in governmental healthcare settings of the southern region of Gaza Strip from February 2003 to August 2003. The results revealed that, the prevalence of HbsAg was 2.8% among health workers and 1.3% for anti-HCV. 18.7% of the reactive cases (HBV and HCV) showed elevation in the liver enzyme ALT. Viral hepatitis B- markers for all HBsAg r eactive cases were done. Needle stick injuries showed a highly significant association as a main risk factor for infection. The results confirmed that hepatitis B vaccination was able to prevent the most threatening consequences of HBV infection, as the rate of infection among non-vaccinated health workers was approximately greater than twice (4.1%) that of vaccinated participants (2.0%).
Furthermore, amongst those who had less than three doses regimen of vaccine, the rate of infection was higher (3.9%) than those who had received the three doses (1.5%).
In conclusion, all healthcare workers should be offered full HBV coverage vaccination. In addition there is a need to better determination of the risk for HBV and HCV transmission in selected settings.
(Key words: Health workers, Hepatitis B and C, Needle injection).
Sahel Medical Journal Vol.6(4) 2003:99-103