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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-81

Hepatitis B and C seroprevalence among residents in Lagos State, Nigeria: A population-based survey

1 Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos; Department of Community Health, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
2 The Nigerian Academy of Science, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Health, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
4 Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Abuja, Nigeria
5 Department of Community Health, College of Medicine, Lagos State University, Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Oluwakemi O Odukoya
Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Surulere, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_776_21

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Background: Hepatitis is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, particularly in developing countries. It is often caused by hepatitis B and C, which are both preventable and treatable. Available information on Hepatitis B and C in Nigeria is based primarily on estimates obtained from specific population sub-groups or hospital-based surveys leaving gaps in population-level knowledge, attitudes, and prevalence. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and associated factors of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections amongst residents of Lagos State. Methodology: This was a community-based descriptive cross-sectional study carried out in all the 20 local government areas of Lagos state using a multistage sampling technique. Data were collected using pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaires. Blood samples were taken (pinprick) from respondents (n = 4862) and tested using hepatitis B and C surface antigen tests after obtaining informed consent. Results: The overall prevalence of HBV infection in Lagos State was 2.1% while the prevalence of HCV infection was 0.1%. Only about half of all the respondents (50.9%) had heard about hepatitis B before the survey. Knowledge of the specific symptoms of HBV was also very low. For instance, only 28.1% of the respondents knew that yellowness of the eyes is associated with hepatitis while < 1% (0.1%) knew that HBV infection is associated with the passage of yellow urine. The most common source of information about hepatitis was the radio (13.0%). Only 36.2% of the respondents knew that HBV infection could be prevented. Overall, 28.8% of the respondents were aware of the hepatitis B vaccine. Less than half (40.9%) felt it was necessary to get vaccinated against HBV, however, a similar proportion (41.9%) would want to be vaccinated against HBV. Only 2.5% of all the respondents had ever received HBV vaccines while 3.5% had ever been tested for hepatitis B before this survey. There was a statistically significant association between HBV infection and respondents' use of shared clippers and work exposure involving contact with body parts and body fluids (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The knowledge, awareness and risk perception of HBV infection were low, however, almost half of the residents were willing to receive hepatitis B vaccinations if offered. It is recommended that the population-based prevention programmes and regular community-based surveillance be conducted by the public health department of Lagos State Ministry of Health. In addition, the strengthening of routine immunisation and vaccination of high-risk groups should be prioritised.

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