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ARTICLE
Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 266-270

Sero-prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in pregnant women in Port Harcourt, Nigeria


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C I Akani
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection is a global public health problem and is endemic in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria. Vertical transmission of HBV infection is thought to be a major mode of transmission in endemic areas. This study was therefore undertaken to determine the sero-prevalence of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) on pregnant women in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in an effort to obtain baseline information on disease burden in this locality, in order to institute public health measures to reduce transmission.PATIENTS AND METHODS: Serial recruitment of 600 women attending the ante-natal clinic at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. HBsAg screening was done using a rapid ELISA Kit. RESULTS: 26(4.3%) of the 600 subjects tested positive to HBsAg. Blood transmission, dental manipulations, tattooing and circumcision were found not to be significant modes of transmission of HBV infection in Port Harcourt. CONCLUSION: There is an intermediate prevalence (4.3%) of HBV infection in pregnant women in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The need to institute public health measures to reduce disease burden and transmission, including routine screening of all pregnant mothers for HBV infection and early passive/active immunisation of babies born to HBsAg--positive mothers is advocated.


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