Knowledge, Awareness and Prevalence of Viral hepatitis Among Health Care workers (HCWs) of the Federal Medical Centre Bida, Nigeria

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Department of Heamatology and Blood Transfusion, Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Nigeria


Background: The health care workers (HCWs) hitherto are considered to be one of the vulnerable groups when compared to the general population due to the nature of their day-to-day workplace activities. However, in spite of the high seroprevalence level nationally, the level of awareness and knowledge about viral hepatitis amongst the general populace including the public health workers is non –uniform. Aims and Objective: To determine the knowledge, awareness and prevalence of viral hepatitis as well as to raise awareness among HCWs. Study design: cross sectional survey. Setting: Federal Medical Centre, Bida Niger State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A structured questionnaire was administered to Two Hundred and forty eight HCWs of the Federal Medical Centre, Bida. Blood samples were collected from individual participants and screened for Hepatitis B surface Antigen (HBsAg), Antibody to Hepatitis C Virus and Antibody to Hepatitis B core antigen using rapid ELIZA technique. Statistics: Data analysis was performed using SPSS version 20 software to obtain descriptive statistics for all participants with respect to demographic distribution, prevalence rate for HBV and HCV. Chi-square test was used to obtain relations between various categorical data. The statistical significance of the data was based on a p-value of ≤ 0.05 at the Yates’ continuity correction line. Results: Of the two hundred and forty eight participants, 41.1% were males and 58.9% were females, M: F 1:1.4. The mean age was 33.7 (SD 6.9) years (range 20 - 54yrs). Occupational distribution was based on four main categories of health care workers; Doctors, Nurses, Allied health workers (AHWs) and Admin Staffs with frequency of 23(9.3%), 52(21.0%), 100(40.3%) and 73(29.4%) respectively. With regards to the educational level of the participants, 20(8.1%) were in the category of lower level education, 58 (23.4%) had middle level of education and 170(68.5%) were highly educated. The overall seroprevalence of hepatitis among the health care workers (HCWs) were as follows: HBsAg (11.3%), HCV (2.4%) and HBcore antibody (46.0%). Overall Awareness of the various types of hepatitis was 70.6% with a marked trend over educational levels. Conclusion: This study provided prevalence data, relevant information on the magnitude of disease burden and the significance of education on awareness of hepatitis B and C in this settings. There is paucity of awareness and knowledge among certain category of HCWs. Therefore concern Authorities should provide more HBV / HCV interventional information impact measures to raise awareness and knowledge among this group. Policies and guidelines of critical preventive protocol to ensure safety in a workplace environment including pre and post-exposure vaccination intervention for HBV to the staff should be in place.



Viral hepatitis,, Seroprevalence,, Awareness,, Knowledge,, Exposure,, Vaccination.