Seroprevalence and Risk Factors of Hepatitis B Virus Infection among Adolescents in Enugu, Nigeria

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Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of hepatitis B virus infection in adolescents in Enugu-urban.

Methods: A cross-sectional seroprevalence survey was conducted among school children aged 10–18 years. Subjects were selected using multistage sampling. Hepatitis B surface antigenaemia (HBsAg) was assayed for in blood using rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. Data were analyzed using statistical package for social sciences version 16.0 (p < 0.05).

Results: Four hundred and twenty children were recruited. Of these, 13 tested positive for HBsAg, giving an overall hepatitis B seroprevalence of 3.1%. Social class, scarifications/tattooing, circumcision and history of surgery were the significant modes of transmission.

Conclusion: The seroprevalence of hepatitis B among children in the study population is high. Its screening in school children should be incorporated into school health services in our setting while awareness campaigns and health education on its modes of transmission and prevention should be promoted and strengthened.

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