Seroprevalence of Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Health Centre Workers in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
Christopher Ogar Ogar, Ifeyinwa Mary Ann Okafor and Patience Antigha Akpan
Int. J. Bio. Lab. Sci 2016 5:17-22
Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. Hepatitis may occur with limited or no symptoms, but often leads to jaundice, poor appetite, malaise, liver diseases, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis C virus(HCV) is the cause of hepatitis C infection. This study was done to determine the prevalence of antibodies to HCV among health centre workers in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. 200 subjects were recruited, both male and female within the age of 18-65 years. Hundred were health centre workers and another 100 were non-health workers. Assay was done using HCV serum/plasma rapid immune-chromatographic kits developed by Abon biopharm (Hangzhou) Co.).The prevalence of HCV infection among health centre workers was found to be 4.0% and it was significantly higher than that of the non-health workers (1.0%). Male health centre workers had seroprevalence of 9.5% which is slightly higher than female health centre
workers with seroprevalence of 2.5%. Statistical analysis however, showed no significant difference (p>0.05). The result also shows highest prevalence of 11.1% amongst health centre workers of age range 41-45 years while low prevalence was observed among those aged ≤ 40 years and infection completely absent among those aged ≥ 46 years. There was statistical association (p <0.05) between age of the patients and prevalence of HCV antibodies. In conclusion this study has shown that prevalence of HCV infection was predominantly higher in health centre workers than in non-health workers in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.
Key words: Hepatitis C virus, health centre workers, non-health workers.