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Open Access Short Report

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

Bernard Nkrumah1*, Michael Owusu2 and Paul Averu3

Author Affiliations

1 Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, Kumasi, Ghana

2 Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

3 Agogo Presbyterian Hospital, Asanti Akim North, Asanti Region, Ghana

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:529  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-529

Published: 12 December 2011

Abstract

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.