Hepatitis B surface antigenaemia among pregnant women in a tertiary health institution in Ekiti State, Nigeria
Background: It has been recognized that Hepatitis B virus infection is endemic in Nigeria. Despite this, routine screening in pregnancy and treatment are not widely practiced in the country.
Objective: To identify the prevalence and pattern of the disease among the obstetric population in Ekiti State.
Materials and Methods: A review of the records of 505 consecutively booked and consenting pregnant women at the antenatal clinics of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado - Ekiti. The duration of the study was from April 2011 to November 2011. All the patients were screened for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Using a questionnaire, information retrieved included their socio-demographic characteristics, possible risk factors (blood transfusion and surgery) and HBsAg screening result.
Results: 20 of the 505 pregnant women were seropositive for HBsAg giving prevalence of 4.0%. Multiparous women aged between 30 - 34 years and with secondary education had the highest proportion of infected people although these associations did not reach significant levels. More women in the latter half of pregnancy were HBsAg seropositive (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: It is recommended that all pregnant women be routinely screened for HBV, and preventive measures emphasized to reduce the burden of HBV infection.
Keywords: Hepatitis B surface antigen, pregnancy, seroprevalence, Ekiti
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