Author(s): Nkrumah B, Owusu M, Frempong HO, Averu P
Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of Hepatitis B and C infections and co-infections among blood donors in a rural community of Ghana. DESIGN: A retrospective study. METHOD: Samples of blood donated between January 2007 and December 2008 were screen for Hepatitis B and C viruses at the Agogo Presbyterian Hospital. RESULTS: The prevalence of Hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection was highest in females 21.4\% (95\% CI: 11.6-34.4) in 2006 than males in the same year 13.2\% (95\% CI: 10.8-15.9). Hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection was highest among males at 11.6\% (95\% CI: 9.5-13.8) in 2007. HBV and HCV co-infection was higher in males 2.6\% (95\% CI: 1.6-3.8) than females 1.3\% (95\% CI: 0-7.0) in 2007. The overall prevalence of HBV and HCV was 13.8\% (95\% CI: 11.4-16.4) and 9.4\% (95\% CI: 7.4-11.6) respectively in 2006. The rate of co-infection of HBV and HCV however increased from 1.6\% (95\% CI: 0.8-2.7) in 2006 to 2.2\% (95\% CI: 1.3-3.2) in 2008 in males and from 0\% (95\% CI: 0-6.4) in 2006 to 1.2\% (95\% CI: 0-6.5) in 2008 in females. CONCLUSION: The single infections of HBV and HCV reduced but co-infection of these transfusion transmitted infections (TTI) increased. Measures such as more sensitive techniques and education must be employed in these areas.