Department of Hematology & Blood transfusion, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.
Viral hepatitis during pregnancy is associated with high risk of maternal complications and has become a leading cause of foetal death.
This study aimed at determining the prevalence of hepatitis B and C viral infections among pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
This was a hospital based cross-sectional study that included 5760 pregnant women who attended the antenatal clinic of the hospital during the periods of October 2009 - October 2010. Relevant data was gathered and women having history of previous liver diseases, diabetes and pre-eclamptic toxemia were excluded from the study. Rapid diagnostic test kits were used to screen for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-Hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies.
720 (12.5%) and 206 (3.6%) out of 5,760 pregnant women included in the study were found to be positive for Serum antibodies to hepatitis B and C respectively. 33 (0.57%) were found to have mixed infections of hepatitis B and C. None of the expected risk factors had significant outcome.
This study showed that the prevalence of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) among pregnant women in this study area is of intermediate endemicity (12.5%).