PREVALENCE AND TRENDS OF HEPATITIS B AND C AMONG BLOOD DONORS IN ALL BLOOD DONORS CENTERS IN THE NORTHERN REGION OF GHANA: A FIVE-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE STUDY
AbstractBlood transfusion is considered a life-saver in health care settings, but could potentially pose as a risk factor for transmission of life-threatening viral infections, including Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBsAg), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Syphilis infections. This study was carried out to assess the prevalence and trends of HBsAg and HCV infections among blood donors in the Northern Region of Ghana. The study was a retrospective one. Therefore data of blood donors recorded in all three blood transfusion centers in the Northern region from 2011 to 2015 were analyzed in an anonymous way with respect to the results of serological screening for HBsAg and HCV infections. SPSS was used in the analysis of data, where chi-square and test for association was done. Overall, 123,142 donors were screened for these viral infections. Majority of the donors who were screened for HBsAg were males representing 50.1% whereas females represented 50.1%. Of those who were screened for HCV, 40.1 4% were males and 61.0% were females. The overall sero-prevalence of HBsAg and HCV were 31.0 % (7319) and 28.0 % (4893) respectively. These infections were more prevalent in male donors (p-value of 0.854). Highest sero-prevalence for both HBsAg and HCV was observed among donors between 20 to 49 years, while both seroprevalence slightly increased with age (p-value of 0.765). These infections with HBsAg and HCV were more prevalent in male donors. Highest sero-prevalence for both HBsAg and HCV was observed among donors between 20 to 49 years, while both seroprevalence slightly increased with age. This means that government and policy makers, as well as other stakeholders should emphasize more on the youth, and especially the male sexes in rolling out interventions and campaigns aimed at mitigating these infections. There exists a decreasing trend of transfusion-transmissible viral infections (i.e. HBsAg and HCV) in blood donations. This indicates that the Ghana National Blood Service’s mandate of ensuring the safety of blood supply has been successful since the prevalence of viral infections have been reduced to very low levels in blood donations over the years. However, more effective techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are needed to guarantee blood safety. More outreach screening and sensitization programmes by the National Blood Service will help in reducing the prevalence. Keywords: Viral Infections, Transfusion, Hepatitis, Seropositive, Blood Donors
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