Assessment of Knowledge and Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B and C Viral Infection among Health Care Personnel in a Rural Teaching Hospital in South-South Nigeria


Emmanuel Friday Osagiede

Background: Hepatitis B and C viral infections are among the most critical occupation related infections in the hospital workplace. Healthcare personnel (HCP) are exposed daily to HBV and HCV infections from blood and body fluids of patients and clients they care for. The study was aimed at assessing the knowledge and seroprevalence of HBV and HCV among HCP in a rural tertiary health facility in South-South, Nigeria.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used in this study and data was collected using quantitative method. Pre-tested, semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaires were administered to 280 HCP who were also tested for HBsAg and anti-HCV using the rapid diagnostic method (with the Lab Acon Biotest rapid diagnostic strips). Data analysis was carried out using IBM SPSS version 21.0 and the level of significance-alpha (α) was set at 5% (0.05).

Results: Majority of the respondents were aware of HBV (86.4%) and HCV (75.7%). Their source of information was mainly from lectures (57.1%). The composite knowledge score for HBV and HCV were poor with less than half of the respondents demonstrating good knowledge. There was a significant relationship between respondents’ composite knowledge and job category (p-value<0.001). More than half (56.7%) of the HCP in clinically related workgroup had good knowledge of HBV and HCV (p-value<0.001). The seroprevalence of HBsAg and anti-HCV were 1.4% and 1.1% respectively. Though the porters had the highest prevalence of HBsAg (5.0%), there was no statistically significant relationship between the different job categories and seroprevalence of HBsAg and anti-HCV in the study.

Conclusion: Despite the high level of awareness of HBV and HCV among the HCP in this study, there was no correspondingly high-level knowledge of HBV and HCV. The non-skilled HCP like the porters had the highest seroprevalence of HBsAg compared to other HCP and there were no coinfection for HBV and HCV in the study.