Prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection among pregnant women in an antenatal clinic in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

RK Obi, SC Umeh, OH Okurede, II Iroagba



A total of ten thousand and thirty two (10,032) pregnant women attending ante-natal clinic in Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria were screened between January 2000 to December 2004 for the possible occurrence of hepatitis B virus using HBV paper strips. The results showed that a total of 290 (2.89%) of the pregnant women tested positive for hepatitis B Virus. The years 2001 and 2002 had the highest prevalence of 61, while 2004 had the least prevalence of 52. No significant difference (P<0.5) was however observed in the annual prevalence of the infection among pregnant women in the hospital. Studies of the age distribution of the infection among the studied pregnant women showed that women in the age group of 41-45 had the highest prevalence rate (60%) for the sampled population within that age group, followed by women in the age group of 31-35 with an occurrence rate of 11.04% within that age group. The least rate of occurrence was observed in the age group of 21-25 which showed only 1.75%. The prevalence of the deadly hepatitis B virus among pregnant women whose immunity is often compromised by gynaecological and nutritional factors is of grave clinical importance.

African Journal of Clinical and Experimental Microbiology Vol. 7(2) 2006: 78-82