Hepatitis B and C viral infections among blood donors. A retrospective study from a rural community of Ghana

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BMC Research Notes
Background: Infection by Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) cause serious mortality, morbidity and financial burden and are thus a major global health problem. The study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of Hepatitis B and C infections and co-infections among blood donors in a rural community of Ghana. This was a retrospective study conducted at the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital in the Asanti Akim North District of Ghana to investigate the prevalence of these infections over a three year period among 2773 blood donors. Males constituted a larger proportion of the study population (92.2%). Majority of the study population (43.9%) were within 26-35 age group. The disease prevalence was calculated at a 95% confidence interval. Findings: The prevalence of Hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection was highest in females- 21.4% (95% CI: 11.6-34.4) in 2006 than males in the same year- 13.2% (95% CI: 10.8-15.9). Hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection was highest among males- 11.6% (95% CI: 9.5-13.8) in 2007. HBV and HCV co-infection was higher in males- 2.6% (95% CI: 1.6-3.8) than females- 1.3% (95% CI: 0-7.0) in 2007. The overall prevalence of HBV and HCV was 13.8% (95% CI: 11.4- 16.4) and 9.4% (95% CI: 7.4-11.6) respectively in 2006. The rate of co-infection of HBV and HCV however increased from 1.6% (95% CI: 0.8-2.7) in 2006 to 2.2% (95% CI: 1.3-3.2) in 2008 in males and from 0% (95% CI: 0-6.4) in 2006 to 1.2% (95% CI: 0-6.5) in 2008 in females. Conclusion: The single infections of HBV and HCV reduced but co-infection of these transfusion transmitted infections increased. Measures such as more sensitive techniques for effective diagnosis and sanitary education to enlighten the population must be implemented.
This is an article published in BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:529 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/4/529
BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:529; http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/4/529