Published online Dec 8, 2016. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v8.i34.1521
Peer-review started: June 29, 2016
First decision: August 5, 2016
Revised: September 9, 2016
Accepted: October 17, 2016
Article in press: October 18, 2016
Published online: December 8, 2016
To determine the seroprevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in seven area health centers in Honiara. From March to June 2015, identification of eligible pregnant women in each site was conducted using systematic random sampling technique. A total of 243 pregnant women who gave written informed consent were enrolled. Standardized tool was used to record demographics, obstetric history and serology results. HBsAg and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) were tested using point-of-care rapid diagnostic test. All HBsAg positive samples were verified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
The mean age of participants was 26 ± 6 years. The overall hepatitis HBsAg prevalence was 13.8% with higher rate (22%) reported in women between 30-34 years of age. Majority of HBsAg positive participants were Melanesians (29 out for 33). None of the pregnant women in the 15-19 years and ≥ 40 years tested positive for HBsAg. There was no statistically significant difference in HBsAg prevalence by age, ethnicity, education and residential location. The overall HBeAg seroprevalence was 36.7%. Women between 20-24 years of age had the highest rate of 54.5%. Low level of knowledge about hepatitis B vaccination was reputed. Overall, 54.6% of participants were not aware of their hepatitis B vaccination status and only 65.2% of mothers reported their child had been vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of public health importance in Solomon Islands and emphasize the need for integrated preventative interventions for its control.
Core tip: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B infection in a cohort of antenatal women in Honiara. The overall hepatitis HBsAg and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) prevalence was 13.8% and 36.7%, respectively. Our study for the first time reported HBeAg prevalence in pregnant women. Furthermore, the study revealed low level of knowledge about hepatitis B vaccination whereby 54.6% of participants were not aware of their vaccination status. Hepatitis B is a disease of public health importance in Solomon Islands and emphasize the need for efficient delivery of integrated services for its prevention and control.