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Aims: This study investigated the prevalence, and associated factors of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at Mulago National Referral Hospital, in Uganda.
Study Design: This was a cross- sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: This was conducted at Mulago National Referral Hospital, located in Kampala, Uganda. The study was carried out during the months of January to June, 2016.
Methodology: We collected about 4militres of blood samples from 323 assented/ consented female participants. These were analyzed for hepatitis B surface antigen using one step immunochromatographic test. A structured questionnaire was used to explore predisposing factors to HBV. Associated factors of HBV infection were determined using logistic regression analysis.
Results: The survey covered 323 pregnant women. Majority (N=141, 43.7%) were in the age category of 25 to 29 years (range 14–43 years). Their mean parity was 2.2; 106 (32.8%) were nullpara and 179 (55.4%) were in their first trimester. Three participants (0.9%; 95% Confidence Interval: 0.45-1.22) tested positive for hepatitis B surface antigen. The HBV infection was recorded most among the polygamous (100%), as well as multipara (66.7%). There was a statistical association between HBV infection with pregnant women who were in a polygamous relationship (AOR: 5.8; 95%: CI 2.1-10.4), scarification (AOR: 4.2; 95% CI: 3.2-17.9) and shared sharps (AOR: 8.6; 95% CI: 3.7-17.1).
Conclusion: We report a high prevalence of HBV infection, and the pattern tends towards increased perinatal HBV transmission. We identified a knowledge gap pertaining transmission, causation and prevention of HBV infection.