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Seroprevalence of hepatitis B and C viruses among medical waste handlers at Gondar town Health institutions, Northwest Ethiopia

DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-55

Keywords: Medical waste handlers, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, Gondar Ethiopia

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Abstract:

A cross-sectional study was conducted from April, 2011 to June, 2011 in government health institutions at Gondar town. Socio-demographic and possible risk factors data from medical waste handlers were collected using pre-tested and well structured questionnaires. Venous bloods were collected and the serums were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen and anti-hepatitis C antibody using rapid Immunochromatography assay. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS software package (version16). Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used to assess risk of association. A p-value of < 0.05 was considered statistical significance.A total of 100 medical waste handlers and 100 non-clinical waste handlers were examined for HBV and HCV viruses. HBV was detected in 6 (6.0%) and 1 (1.0%) and HCV in 1 (1.0%) and 0 (0.0%) of medical waste handlers and non-clinical waste handlers, respectively. Significant differences were observed in the detection rates of HBV (OR = 6.3; X2 = 4.1; P = 0.04) and overall infection rate (HBV + HCV) (OR = 7.5; X2 = 5.2; P: 0.02) in medical waste handlers when compared with non-clinical waste handlers. It was found that none of the observed risk factors significantly associated with rate of hepatitis infection compared to others.Prevalence of HBV and HCV were significantly higher in medical waste in relation to non-clinical waste handlers. There were poor waste management system which contributed for occurrence of higher degree of sharps injury and blood and body fluids splash.Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver due to viral infections and there are groups of viruses that affects the liver [1,2]. The most common types are hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) [2]. Viral hepatitis is a major health problem worldwide and cause acute and/or chronic hepatitis which can leads to the development of extensive liver scarring (cirrhosis), liver failure, liver cancer and death. Viral hepatitis is the tenth leading cause of death and the le

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