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Prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection among blood donors at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana (2009)

Julius Tieroyaare Dongdem1*, Sylvanus Kampo23, Ireneous N Soyiri45, Patrick Nsobila Asebga3, Juventus B Ziem36 and Kenneth Sagoe3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Biochemistry, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University for Development Studies, P. O. Box 1350, Tamale, Northern Region, Ghana

2 Department of Allied Health Science, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana

3 Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ministry of Health, Tamale, Northern Region, Ghana

4 School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana

5 Global Public Health, JCSMHS, MONASH University, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selanger D.E, Malaysia

6 Department of Microbiology. School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:115  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-115

Published: 22 February 2012

Abstract

Background

Despite education and availability of drugs and vaccines, hepatitis B virus (HBV) is still the most common severe liver infection in the world accounting for >1 million annual deaths worldwide. Transfusion of infected blood, unprotected sex and mother to child transmission are 3 key transmission routes of HBV in Ghana. There is high incidence of blood demanding health situations in northern Ghana resulting from anemia, accidents, malnutrition, etc. The higher the demand, the higher the possibility of transmitting HBV through infected blood. The aim of the investigation was to estimate the prevalence of HBV in blood donors which will provide justification for interventions that will help minimize or eliminate HBV infection in Ghana.

Findings

We investigated the prevalence of HBV infection among blood donors at Tamale Teaching Hospital. The Wondfo HBsAg test kit was used to determine the concentration of HBsAg in 6,462 (576 voluntary and 5,878 replacement) donors as being ≥1 ng/ml. 10.79% of voluntary donors and 11.59% of replacement donors were HBsAg+. The 20-29 year group of voluntary donors was >2 times more likely to be HBsAg + than 40-60. Also the 20-29 year category of replacement donors was >4 times as likely to be HBsAg + than 50-69.

Conclusions

Risk of infection was age, sex and donor type dependent. The 20-29 year category had the highest prevalence of HBsAg + cases, mostly males residing within the metropolis.