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Knowledge And Seroprevalence Of Hepatitis B Virus Infection Among Women Of A Faith-Based Organization In An Urban District, Southern Nigeria

E.M. Umuerri
I.P. Obiebi
M.O Adeyemi


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a disease of public health importance. With higher infectivity than HIV, it is the most important cause of liver disease/cancer in Nigeria. This study aimed to assess knowledge, awareness and seroprevalence of HBV among women in an urban district, Southern Nigeria.

This was a cross-sectional survey of women attending a medical screening programme of a faith-based organization in Sapele using semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. All respondents were screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Of the 111 women studied, 66.7% were unaware of HBV infection. Among respondents who were aware of HBV infection, the knowledge level was fair in the majority (51.4%) while 32.4% and 16.2% had good and poor levels of knowledge, respectively. The major (59.5%) source of information on HBV was from seminars while 18.9% of the respondents got information from the media. The association between the highest level of education attained, and awareness of HBV was significant (p = 0.001), but not with knowledge of HBV (p=0.087). Marital status and age-group were not significantly associated with knowledge and awareness of HBV. Previous testing for and vaccination against HBV was lacking in 107 (96.4%) and 108 (97.3%) of the respondents, respectively. Positive HBsAg test was obtained in 2 (1.8%) of the respondents.

The low level of HBV knowledge and awareness in this study is suggestive of poor public awareness of HBV. For effective HBV prevention and control in Nigeria, there is the need for increased health promotion campaigns against HBV.  

Keywords: Hepatitis B infection, Women, Knowledge, Seroprevalence, Nigeria