Original article | Volume 33, Article 310, 20 Aug 2019 | 10.11604/pamj.2019.33.310.16894

Knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on hepatitis B prevention in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts of the south west region of Cameroon

Brenda Mbouamba Yankam, Cho Sebastine Anye, Ngwayu Claude Nkfusai, Joyce Shirinde, Samuel Nambile Cumber

Corresponding author: Samuel Nambile Cumber, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Received: 21 Aug 2018 - Accepted: 06 Jul 2019 - Published: 20 Aug 2019

Domain: Health education,Health promotion,Health Research

Keywords: Hepatitis B virus, pregnant women, health care workers, risk factors, knowledge, practice, south west region, Cameroon

©Brenda Mbouamba Yankam et al. Pan African Medical Journal (ISSN: 1937-8688). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite this article: Brenda Mbouamba Yankam et al. Knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on hepatitis B prevention in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts of the south west region of Cameroon. Pan African Medical Journal. 2019;33:310. [doi: 10.11604/pamj.2019.33.310.16894]

Available online at: https://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/33/310/full

Home | Volume 33 | Article number 310

Original article

Knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on hepatitis B prevention in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts of the south west region of Cameroon

Knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on hepatitis B prevention in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts of the south west region of Cameroon

Brenda Mbouamba Yankam1,2, Cho Sebastine Anye1,3, Ngwayu Claude Nkfusai1,3, Joyce Shirinde4, Samuel Nambile Cumber4,5,6,&

 

1Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Science, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon, 2Department of Statistics, Faculty of Physical Science, University of Nsukka, Nsukka, Nigeria, 3Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services (CBCHS), Yaoundé, Cameroon, 4School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria Private Bag X323, Gezina, Pretoria, 0001, Pretoria, South Africa, 5Section for Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, Institute of Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Box 414, SE - 405 Gothenburg, Sweden, 6Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

 

 

&Corresponding author
Samuel Nambile Cumber, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

 

 

Abstract

Introduction: hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major health problem worldwide owing to its high prevalence and significant morbidity and mortality. There are about 2 billion people living with HBV worldwide and over 360 million chronic carriers. The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge and practices of pregnant women and health care workers in the ANC and maternity units on HBV infection and its transmission.

 

Methods: about 270 women attending ANC and 31 health care workers were selected by convenience sampling. They were evaluated using a structured questionnaire to assess their knowledge and practices on HBV prevention and transmission.

 

Results: pregnant women in the Limbe Health District demonstrated good knowledge but adopted poor practices whereas in the Muyuka Health District, pregnant women demonstrated poor knowledge and adopted poor practices regarding the mode of transmission and prevention of HBV infection. Health care workers in both the Limbe and Muyuka Health Districts however, demonstrated good knowledge and adopted good practices.

 

Conclusion: there was a significant relationship between the knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on hepatitis B prevention in the Muyuka Health District (P = 0.0006).

 

 

Introduction    Down

Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a small enveloped DNA virus known to infect humans and belongs to the hepadnaviridae family. HBV infection is a major health problem worldwide owing to its high prevalence and significant morbidity and mortality. There are about 2 billion people living with HBV worldwide and about 360 million chronic carriers [1]. The total number of deaths attributable to HBV was 786,000 according to the Global Burden of Disease, 2010. Of these number, 132,200 (17 %) were estimated to be caused by acute hepatitis B, 341,400 (43 %) were caused by liver cancer and 312,400 (40 %) were caused by cirrhosis [2]. As a result, the GBD 2010 estimates HBV to be the 15th ranked caused of human death [2]. It is transmitted through sexual intercourse, by exchange of saliva during kissing and also from infected mothers to their babies: during childbirth, breastfeeding and through the placenta [3]. Unlike Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body for at least seven days [4]. During this time, the virus can still cause infection if it enters the body of someone who is not protected by the vaccine. The burden of HBV is highest in Africa where approximately 65 million chronically infected individuals live, with prevalence rates ranging from less than 7% to more than 20% in some countries [5]. Recent studies in Cameroon show that the prevalence of HBV ranges from 6-16% [6, 7]. Fouelifack [8], Noubiap [7] report the prevalence of HBV as high as 10.1% and 12% among blood donors in hospital blood banks in Cameroon respectively. Pregnant women are considered vulnerable and even at a higher risk of transmitting the virus to their newborns if not early diagnosed. As far as the burden of HBV in health care workers is concerned, numerous studies have shown that they are at higher risk of acquiring HBV than the general population. Clinicians with direct patient contact, such as physicians, dentists, nurses, and dialysis workers, laboratory workers have higher risk of exposure to HBV than other health care workers [9]. A review of studies done in the USA has shown a high prevalence rate of HBV ranging from 13 to 18% in some groups of health care workers such as surgeons, [10]. In sub-Saharan Africa too, exposure to HBV remains a serious risk to health care workers. It has been estimated that 6,200 HBV infections occur each year among health care workers in sub-Saharan African [11]. This study was therefore designed to assess the knowledge and practice of pregnant women attending antenatal clinic (ANC) and health care workers at the ANC and maternity units in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts of the south west region of Cameroon, with specific objective to determine the risk factors of hepatitis B virus infection among pregnant women and health care workers in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts.

 

 

Methods Up    Down

Study area: Limbe is the capital of Fako Division. It has a total population of 72,106 inhabitants as of 2015 [12]. It is located on latitude 40’46.008” N, longitude 913’13.008” E and about 15 km from Buea, the headquarters of the south west region of Cameroon. Muyuka is a small town in Fako Division of the south west region of Cameroon, it is located on latitude 417’49.992” N, longitude 924’20.016” E and about 30.6 km from Buea. It is made up of 18 villages with about 31,384 inhabitants as of 2015 [12].

 

Study sites: this study was conducted at the Regional Hospital Limbe, District Hospital Limbe, District Hospital Muyuka and Presbyterian Health Center Muyuka of the south west region of Cameroon.

 

Study design: the study involved administration of questionnaire to pregnant women attending ANC and health care workers in the ANC and maternity units. A convenience sampling technique was employed whereby pregnant women attending ANC and health care workers in the ANC and maternity units available at the time of the study and who were willing to participate in the study were included for the purpose of the study.

 

Study population: the study population constituted of pregnant women attending ANC and health care workers in the ANC and maternity units in all the hospitals under study who gave consent to take part in the study from July to August 2017.

 

Selection criteria

 

Inclusion criterion: pregnant women attending ANC and health care workers at the ANC and maternity units present during the period of data collection (July-August) and who gave consent to participate in the study.

 

Exclusion criteria: pregnant women and health care workers who did not consent to participate in the study.

 

Sample size and sampling: the sample size for questionnaire administration to the pregnant women was calculated using the Fisher’s formula, with a prevalence of 9.7% of hepatitis B infection [6] among pregnant women with an error margin (d) of 0.05.

 

 

Where: z = the standard normal deviation at 1.96 (which corresponds to a 95% confidence interval), p = the prevalence of hepatitis B in the general Cameroonian population, q = 1 – p; d = the degree of precision expected to be 0.05. Therefore, N= 1.96²*0.097 (1-0.097)/0.05²; N = 135.

 

Therefore, sample size for questionnaire administration to pregnant women was 135 questionnaires per health district giving a total of 270 questionnaires. The sample size for questionnaire administered to health care workers was exhaustive, that is, all health care workers at the ANC and maternity unit of the study sites who consented to respond to the questionnaires were included.

 

Data collection

 

Administration of questionnaires to pregnant women and health care workers

 

All participants who consented were interviewed using a structured questionnaire adapted from questionnaire formulated by Mohammed [13]. Prior to its use in this study, a total of 20 questionnaires were pretested at the Regional Hospital Buea among pregnant women attending ANC and Health care workers at the ANC and maternity unit with the aim of revising poorly structured questions, estimate the average time required to fill the questionnaire. Two hundred and seventy questionnaires were administered to pregnant women attending ANC and 31 questionnaires were administered to health care workers at the ANC and maternity in all the hospitals under study for a period of 2 months (July-August) to assess their knowledge and practices on hepatitis B prevention and transmission.

 

Knowledge on HBV infection consisted of 12 questions and each correct response was scored as 1 and 0 for a wrong response. The knowledge scores for an individual was calculated and summed up to give a total knowledge score on 12. A score between 0-4 was classified as poor, 5-8 as good and 9-12 as excellent adapted from a study conducted by Abongwa [14]. Practices of pregnant women and health care workers on HBV infection were assessed on a scale of 6 because there were 6 questions on practices regarding HBV infection. A score of 0-3 was classified as poor practice while a score of 4-6 was classified as good practice. Demographic information of the participant was also obtained through administration of questionnaires.

 

Data entry and analyses

 

Data from the questionnaires were entered into a template in Excel version 10. The data was verified for completion, cleaned and exported into SPSS v 20.0 for analyses. Descriptive analysis was carried out by calculating the mean, median, standard deviation and frequencies of different variables using the SPSS v 20.0.

 

Ethical considerations

 

Ethical clearance was obtained from the Institutional Review Board of the Faculty of Health Science, University of Buea. Administrative clearance was obtained from the regional delegation of public health for South West region Cameroon and written approval from the head of every hospital under study. Participants had the study protocol carefully explained to them and participation was voluntary. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Study participants, data confidentiality and integrity were maintained by restricting access of the information and primary data to the principal investigator.

 

 

Results Up    Down

Socio-demographic characteristics of pregnant women in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts

 

The characteristics of the 270 pregnant women who responded to the questionnaires in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts are summarized on Table 1. The ages of these women ranged from 16 to 46 years with a mean ±SD age of 22.6 ± 5.6 years, with the predominant age group being pregnant women of 25-34 years. About 78 (28.9%) of the pregnant women were students, 119 (44.1%) were polygamously married, 8 (3.0%) had multiple sexual partners and only 13 (4.8 %) of them were muslims (Table 1).

 

The characteristics of the 31 health care workers who responded to the questionnaires in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts are summarized on Table 2. The ages of these health care workers ranged from 20 to 48 years with a mean ±SD age of 22.6 ± 5.6 years, with the predominant age group being health care workers of < 25 years. About 21 (67.7%) of the participants were female, 16 (51.6 %) were state register nurses, 6 (19.4%) had worked for the past three years 5 (Table 2).

 

Risk factors associated to HBV infection

 

Out of the 270 women who responded to the questionnaires, 257 (95.2%) had a history of ear piercing, 51 (18.9%) had a history of dental procedure, 20 (7.4%) had a history of blood transfusion and 52 (19.3%) had a history of surgical procedure meanwhile only 1 (0.4%) had a history of unsafe injection (Table 3).

 

Districts

 

Out of the 135 pregnant women who responded to the questionnaires in the Limbe Health District, 68 (50.45%) demonstrated excellent knowledge, 40 (29.85%) had good knowledge and 27 (19.69%) had poor knowledge on the transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection. Regarding practices of pregnant women on transmission and prevention of hepatitis B, 50 (37%) of them were classified as those adopting good practices in the transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection and 85 (63%) as those adopting poor practices.

 

Of the 135 women who responded to the questionnaires in the Muyuka Health District, 29 (21.31%) demonstrated excellent knowledge, 52 (38.52%) had good knowledge and 54 (39.8%) had poor knowledge on the transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection. Regarding practices of pregnant women on transmission and prevention of hepatitis B, 43 (31.6 %) of women were classified as adopting good practices and 92 (68.4 %) as having poor practices (Figure 1).

 

Out of the 21 health care workers who responded to the questionnaires in the Limbe Health District, 16 (77.6%) demonstrated excellent knowledge, 2 (8.71%) had good knowledge and 3 (13.69%) had poor knowledge on the transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection. Regarding practices of health care workers on the transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection, 12 (55.83%) adopted good practices and 9 (44.17%) poor practices in the transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection.

 

Of the 10 health care workers who responded to the questionnaires in the Muyuka Health District, 7 (78.7%) demonstrated excellent knowledge, 1 (7.42%) had good knowledge and 2 (13.89%) had poor knowledge on the transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection while 6 (62.96%) adopted good practices (Figure 2).

 

The relationship between the knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on HBV prevention in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts is presented on the Table 4 and Table 5. There was a significant relationship between the knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on HBV infection in the Muyuka Health District with a P value of 0.0006 (Table 5).

 

 

Discussion Up    Down

We assessed the knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers in the Limbe and Muyuka Health Districts of the South West Region of Cameroon. Data gathered in this work may provide more information to influence policy makers on the prevention and control of hepatitis B infection in pregnant women and health care workers. Pregnant women in the Limbe Health District demonstrated good knowledge but adopted poor practice regarding the mode of transmission and prevention of hepatitis B Virus infection. Good knowledge of pregnant women regarding the mode of transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection seen in our study is similar to studies reported in Egypt [15] and Japan [16]. Good knowledge of pregnant women in the Limbe Health District regarding the mode of transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection can be explained by the fact that these women have been receiving regular ANC talks on what hepatitis B infection is.

 

On the contrary, in the Muyuka Health District, pregnant women demonstrated poor knowledge but adopted poor practices regarding the mode of transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection. This is similar to the observation of Abongwa [14] and Frambo [6] where pregnant women demonstrated poor knowledge and adopted poor practices regarding the mode of transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection in the North West region of Cameroon and Buea Health District respectively. Our observation is also similar to those reported in Ethopia [17]. The poor knowledge of pregnant women regarding the transmission and prevention of HBV in the Muyuka Health District can be explained by the lack of formal education among the pregnant women, many of whom come from the rural villages. This poor knowledge warrants the need for sustained and continuous education about hepatitis B virus infection.

 

In the Limbe and Muyuka health districts, health care workers demonstrated good to excellent knowledge regarding the mode of transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection and adopted good practices regarding the mode of transmission and prevention of hepatitis B virus infection. Good knowledge and practice of health care workers in our study is similar to studies in Egypt [15] in Egypt and Japan [16] but however contradict those reported by Yonatan [17] in Ethiopia and Kabir [18] in Iran. Good knowledge and practice of health care workers can be explained by the fact that they are medical personnel and their level of education is above primary and secondary school levels.

 

Some limitations in our study include: studying self-reported knowledge and practices is itself a limitation as one cannot rely totally on the information provided by the participants because of recall bias and social desirability bias.

 

 

Conclusion Up    Down

This study assessed the knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on the prevention and transmission of HBV infection in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts. Findings of our study indicate good knowledge (50.45%) and poor practice (63%) of pregnant women on hepatitis B infection in the Limbe Health District. It also indicate poor knowledge (39.8%) and poor practice (68.4%) of pregnant women on hepatitis B infection in the Muyuka Health District. Health care workers demonstrated good knowledge and good practice on hepatitis B infection in the Limbe and Muyuka Health District. There was a significant relationship between the knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on HBV infection in the Muyuka Health District (P = 0.0006).

What is known about this topic

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, exposure to HBV remains a serious risk to health care workers. It has been estimated that 6,200 HBV infections occur each year among health care workers in sub-Saharan African;
  • Studies in the Buea Health District of the South West Region of Cameroon, show that about 80% of the pregnant women demonstrated poor knowledge regarding HBV prevention and transmission;
  • A study carry out in Abakaliki Nigeria among pregnant women, show that 286 (71.5%) were aware of its occurrence in pregnancy while only 99 (24.8%) knew that hepatitis is a viral infection affecting the liver.

What this study adds

  • About 77% and 78% of health care workers in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts demonstrated excellent knowledge regarding HBV prevention and transmission;
  • In the Limbe Health District 37% of pregnant women had good practices regarding HBV prevention and transmission meanwhile 31.6% had good practices regarding HBV prevention and transmission in the Muyuka Health District;
  • About 55% and 62% of health care workers in the Limbe and Muyuka Health Districts had good practice regarding HBV prevention and transmission.

 

 

Competing interests Up    Down

The authors declare no competing interests.

 

 

Authors’ contributions Up    Down

BMY, CSA, NCN and SNC conceived and designed the study. BMY implemented the study. BMY conducted data analysis. BMY, CSA, NCN and SNC interpreted study results: BMY wrote the first draft of the manuscript. NCN and SNC reviewed and corrected the draft manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

 

 

Acknowledgments Up    Down

We are grateful to all the pregnant women and health care workers who participated in this research.

 

 

Tables and figures Up    Down

Table 1: demographic characteristics of the 270 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in the Limbe and Muyuka Health Districts, July-August 2017

Table 2: demographic characteristics of health care workers at the ANC and maternity units in the Limbe and Muyuka Health Districts between 2014 and 2016

Table 3: responses on risk factors to hepatitis B infection among pregnant women attending antenatal care in the Limbe and Muyuka Health Districts

Table 4: relationship between knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on HBV infection in the Limbe Health District

Table 5: relationship between knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on HBV infection in the Muyuka Health District

Figure 1: knowledge and practice of pregnant women in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts

Figure 2: knowledge and practice of health care workers in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts

 

 

References Up    Down

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Original article

Knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on hepatitis B prevention in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts of the south west region of Cameroon

Original article

Knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on hepatitis B prevention in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts of the south west region of Cameroon

Original article

Knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on hepatitis B prevention in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts of the south west region of Cameroon

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Key words

Hepatitis B virus

Pregnant women

Health care workers

Risk factors

Knowledge

Practice

South west region

Cameroon

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Knowledge and practice of pregnant women and health care workers on hepatitis B prevention in the Limbe and Muyuka health districts of the south west region of Cameroon