Seroprevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen among pregnant women attending the Hospital for Women & Children in Koutiala, Mali
Methods. In a descriptive cross-sectional comparison study, 3 659 pregnant women attending a non-governmental hospital in Koutiala, Mali, during 2008 and 2009 were screened for the hepatitis B surface antigen during antenatal clinic attendance or when admitted for delivery. A chart review compared the hepatitis B virus (HBV)-positive women to HBV-negative women used as controls to identify potential risk factors for HBsAg positivity. The variables compared were age, parity, type of genital excision, birthweight of baby and HIV status.
Results. A total of 293 (8.0%) pregnant women tested positive for HBsAg. Their average age was 27.6 years, average parity of 2.8 births, 90% had Type 2 genital excision, 21% had low birthweight infants, and 14 (0.4%) women also tested positive for HIV. Infants born to HbsAg-positive women were immunised with the hepatitis B vaccine in the delivery room. Two hundred and eighty-four HBV-negative women were compared with the HBV-positive women. None of the differences of means or relationships was statistically insignificant.
Conclusion. In view of the high endemicity and lack of easily identifiable risk factors, free maternal HBV screening should be provided to all women in Mali, and the infants born to HBsAg-positive women should be immunised within 12 hours of birth.
Rosanna F Hess, Research For Health Inc
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Date published: 2011-12-14
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