Publisher: University of Portharcourt Teaching Hospital

Knowledge, Risk Perception and Vaccination Against Hepatitis B Infection By Primary Healthcare Workers In Jos, North Central Nigeria

Jonathan C. Daboer, Moses P. Chingle, M. E. Banwat
KEYWORDS: Hepatitis B; primary healthcare workers; Nigeria.


Background: Hepatitis B infection remains a major occupational health hazard among healthcare workers in Nigeria where the disease is hyperendemic. Primary healthcare workers are at an even greater risk due to poorer compliance with standard safety precautions by them. The objective of this study is to determine the knowledge, risk perception and vaccination status of primary healthcare workers in Jos regarding Hepatitis B infection.Methodology From each of the existing 6 PHC zones in Jos North LGA, 2 PHC clinics were selected by simple random sampling technique using balloting. In each selected PHC clinic all trained healthcare workers who had worked there for at least 1 year and who consented to participate were recruited into the study. A cross sectional study design was then used to collect information from the respondents using a semi structured self-administered questionnaire.Results Two hundred and eighty eight primary healthcare workers completed and returned the questionnaires. Two hundred and forty nine (86.5%) had good knowledge of HB infection though only 31 (10.8%) of them had ever attended any training or workshop on standard safety precautions and blood borne infections. As many as 238 (82.6%) mentioned immunization as a strategy to prevent HB infection although only 12 (5.2%) had good knowledge of the vaccine. Furthermore only 52 (19.8%) had received at least a dose of the vaccine. The mean age of those vaccinated was 40.0 ± 4.8 years. Both the knowledge of the vaccine (p=0.000…) and the practice of vaccination (p=0.000…) increased with the age of respondents and the association was statistically significant. Although more males (24.5%) than female (18.6%) were vaccinated, this difference was not statistically significant (p=0.33). Only 7 (12.9%) respondents perceived their work as putting them at high risk of contracting HB infection and 85 (29.5%) believed they were at no risk at all or were unsure.

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