J.A. Bala, *A.H. Kawo, M.D. Mukhtar, A. Sarki, N. Magaji et al
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the major etiologic agent of post-transfusional hepatitis. Sera from 320 participants (80 enrolled from each of four blood banks from Wudil, Gaya, Sumaila and Takai local government areas) were tested for antibodies to HCV. A total of 319 subjects were males and 1 female between the ages of 14–64 years. One-step rapid test was employed in the analysis. Eleven (11) out of 320 sera (3.4%) were sero-positive (reactive). This showed a relatively low prevalence of HCV infection among blood donors in this part (north) of the country when compared with those established for the southern parts of Nigeria. However, the prevalence (3.4%) was found to be higher when compared with similar reports from western countries. Prevalence rate based on the 80 subjects in each LGA indicated that Gaya had the highest prevalence of 4(5.0%), followed by Wudil with 3(3.8%); Sumaila and Takai were observed to have the least prevalence rate of 2(2.5%) each. However, no significant statistical difference was observed (P>0.05) between the LGAs. There was no statistical association between the demographic data and HCV infection. However, the relationship between possible risk factors and HCV infection revealed significant statistical association in the transmission through family (vertical transmission), receipt of injection as well as consumption of alcohol. There is need for public intervention through mandatory screening of blood and blood products, destruction of disposable needles, adequate sterilization of re-usable materials and promotion of health education on HCV infection and its prevalence.
Share this article