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Background: Blood donation is a very important life-saving intervention in health care services. Post transfusion infections such as hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus infection continues to be an important public health concern with regard to blood transfusion, and WHO has recommended that these diseases should be screened to get safe blood. Therefore, testing for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and antibodies to hepatitis C antigen (anti-HCV) is a very important preventive measure.
Methods: The objective of this study was to establish the prevalence of hepatitis B and C virus seromarkers among blood donors as a foundation for safe blood transfusion in North East of Libya from 2008 until 2015. The total of 78.987 blood samples obtained from healthy blood donors who attended blood bank, were tested for HBsAg and anti-HCV antibodies by a third generation enzyme linked immunoassay (ELISA).
Results: From total samples examined, the frequency of HBsAg positive cases was 0.21%, the number of anti-HBV positive samples were found to be particularly high in the age group 41>50 years. The number of anti-HCV positive samples was found to be particularly high in same age group. The frequency of HCV positive blood donors among this sample was 0.24%.
Conclusion: The study revealed a low prevalence of HBV and HCV among our prospective blood donors. It could be that people who know their status do not come for blood donation or as a result of other challenges confronting safe blood practices in Northeast of Libya.