Impact of universal childhood vaccination against hepatitis B in Ghana: A pilot study
Keywords:Hepatitis B, Ghana, vaccination, children
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is of public health importance worldwide. Vaccination against the infection, especially in early childhood has significantly reduced the public health impact. This pilot study was undertaken in Cape Coast Metropolitan area to assess the impact of the introduction of HBV vaccination in children. A cross-sectional multi-stage cluster sampling of 501 pupils from 30 public and private primary and junior high schools within the Cape Coast metropolis. A questionnaire covering basic demographic details and immunisation history were administered to the participants after consent and assent had been sought. Hepatitis B serological test for HBsAg, HBcAb, HBsAb, HBeAg and HbeAb was undertaken using Hepatitis B test kit and capillary blood from the participants. The general prevalence of HBcAb, HBsAg and HBsAb was found to be 3.6, 2.6 and 19.8% respectively. The prevalence of HBcAb was 2.6 and 6.1% among pupils delivered after and before the vaccine programme introduction respectively. Introduction of the vaccination programme in Ghana has had a positive impact on the HBV infection in Ghana.