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Hepatitis B infection is caused by the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), the virus is passed through blood, serum, sexual contact and body fluid, (WHO, 2008). Hepatitis B Virus is one of the major and common infectious diseases of the liver worldwide and is caused by a small enveloped DNA Virus. The Hepatitis B Virus was first discovered as “Australia antigen”, later named Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). In patient blood Hepatitis B antigen (HBsAg) was identified several years later as a marker for patients at high risk for transmission of the disease (Tong et al, 2005).
It is estimated that more than two billion people have been infected by HBV worldwide and 350 million people have chronic infection (Uneke et al, 2005). When a pregnant woman is infected with HBV, there is a chance she may infect her fetus. It has been reported that 10-20% of women seropositive for HBsAg transmit the virus to their neonates, but in women who are seropositive for both HBsAg and HBcAg, vertical transmission in approximately 90% (Vrancke et al, 1999). Chronic HBV infection have been defined as carriage of HBsAg for at least 6 months and the highest risk (80-90%) of chronic infection have been found among infected neonates born to HBeAg positive carrier mothers followed (30%) by children infected before 6 years of age (Hyams, 1995). Nigeria is classified among the group of countries endemic for HBV infection. Currently about 18 million Nigerians are infected (Sirisena et al, 2002, Jumbo et al, 2005). Many of these people may not be aware of the infection and hence fail to seek appropriate medical attention therefore progressing to chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) in Pregnant Women, attending Primary Health Care Clinic UnguwanMu’azu Kaduna south Kaduna state, Nigeria.
- To determine the cause, effect, management and prevention of Hepatitis B Virus infection among pregnant women attending (PHC) UnguwanMu’azu
- To provide information on its prevention and control strategies.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The study area is one of the populated areas in Kaduna south. In published report shown that there is rapid increase in Hepatitis B Virus infection in the area under study, due to human activities the virus is passed through blood. Serum sexual contact and other body fluids.
1.4 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The research study is limited to pregnant women attending Primary Health Care (PHC) Unguwan Mu’azu Kaduna South, Kaduna State, Nigeria.
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