Assessment of Hepatitis B Virus and Associated Risk Factors Among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Care at Arsi University Asella Referral and Teaching Hospital, Ethiopia
Hepatitis B virus is a public health problem worldwide. Vertical transmission from mother to baby is an important route of transmission for hepatitis B virus infection. Consequently, screening pregnant women and realizing the sero-prevalence of hepatitis B virus during pregnancy is vital to prevent the infection of new born baby from positive mother. The objective of this study was to assess the sero-prevalence of hepatitis B virus among pregnant women and to identify potential risk factors associated with the infection. The study was conducted from January to May, 2016 using data from pregnant women attending the antenatal care unit of Arsi University Asella Referral and Teaching Hospital, Arsi Zone,Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia.
Blood samples were collected from 454 pregnant women and tested for hepatitis B surface antigen using rapid strip test which is a qualitative solid phase two site sandwich immunoassay. A pre-structured questionnaire was used to collect sociodemographic data and to find out possible risk factors. The overall study subjects with hepatitis B surface antigen positive were 44(9.7%). Most 301(66.3%) of study participants live in urban and 442(97.4%) were married. The socio-demographic status of the participants shows that high hepatitis B surface antigen positivity was among the urban 29(65.9%) and those who were house wife. All except the gestational age of 3rd trimester (p<0.05) the participants demographic characteristic had no significant association with Hepatitis B Virus. None of the risk factors had statistically significant association with hepatitis B virus (P>0.05). It can be concluded that high prevalence of hepatitis B virus among pregnant women was found in this study as compared to the previous studies in different regions of Ethiopia. This high prevalence indicates the importance of implementing preventive measures including vaccination to women in the child bearing age as they are at increased risk of acquiring HBV compared to the general population.