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Knowledge and Determinants of Hepatitis B Virus Testing and Vaccination Status among Sickle cell Disease Patients

, Greg Ndubuisi Arji, Chukwudi Uche Ngwu

Abstract:Background: Sickle cell anemia patients are a cohort of at-risk individuals for Hepatitis B virus infection due to their life-long dependency on transfusion therapy. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations stipulates testing and vaccination for at-risk individuals. Objective: The objectives of the present study are to assess the level of knowledge of sickle cell disease patients to HBV infection, identify their HBV vaccination status and to assess the barrier that prevents patients from being tested and vaccinated for HBV infection. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. The subjects comprised of 120 sickle cell disease patients who were recruited through consecutive sampling using pretested, semi-structured, self-administered questionnaires and data was analyzed with statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) for Microsoft Window Version 23. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 24 +6 years. About 57.5% of the respondents are aware of Hepatitis B virus infection but only 15% had good knowledge of the disease. About 80.8% of the respondents have not been tested for Hepatitis B infection while 70% has not been vaccinated. The cost of testing for HBV infection and vaccination was identified as a major factor that prevented many of the patients from identifying their HBV status as well as getting vaccinated as about 80% of the respondents have not been tested due to high cost of testing while 84.2% have not been vaccinated due to high cost of the vaccine. Conclusion: There should be universal health education to sickle cell anemia patients on the need for Hepatitis B virus infection test and vaccination as well as a health insurance scheme that will cover the cost of Hepatitis B virus testing and vaccination for patients.
Keywords: Hepatitis B virus / vaccination / package / Sickle cell anemia / cell anemia patients / Virus Testing

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