Exposure to risk factors for Hepatitis B and C viruses among primary school teachers in Karachi
Introduction: The study aimed to determine hepatitis B vaccination status and assess the exposure of risk factors for hepatitis B and C among primary schoolteachers in Karachi, Pakistan.
Methodology: in Two hundred school teachers from 30 primary schools in Karachi participated in the study between January and June 2008 by completing an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire. Exposure to and knowledge of hepatitis B and C were assessed, as well as mode of transmission and prevention. The percentage of vaccinated and non-vaccinated teachers was also estimated.
Results: Only 73 (36.5%) respondents were vaccinated against HBV. Nine percent (17) of the teachers had received more than 10 therapeutic injections while about 56% (101) took between 5-10 injections per annum. Fifteen (8%) of the teachers confirmed they had been injected with re-used syringes. More than 8% (17) of participants' family members were suffering from hepatitis B or C, while 10% (20) of family members had died of liver diseases without any known history. More than 13% (27) of participants shared razors, brushes, cigarettes and hukahs. Statistically significant difference was also observed in risk factors of hepatitis B and C among male and female respondents. Conclusion: Hepatitis B vaccination among school teachers of Karachi was around 37% with a high use of therapeutic injections and syringe reuse. Health awareness programs and educational workshops are needed for teachers, who can later educate the children.
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