Paper Title: Knowledge and attitude of Community Health Officers towards Hepatitis B virus infection in Rivers State, Nigeria
Authors: Ilochonwu N.A, Braimoh O.B.
Background: Hepatitis B infection is endemic in Nigeria and healthcare workers are at high risk of the infection. The aim of the study therefore, was to determine the knowledge and attitude of community health officers concerning hepatitis B virus infection. Materials and Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among 95 community health officers in Rivers State. The study tool was a self-completed questionnaire. Consenting health officer were administered the questionnaire which evaluated respondents general knowledge about hepatitis B infection, its prevention and vaccination status. Data analysis was done with SPSS v20. Results: A total of 95 respondents participated in the study, comprising 16 (16.8%) males and 79 (83.2%) females. All the participants were aware of the HBV infection and majority 96.8% knew HBV affects the liver and 78.9% that jaundice is a feature of the infection. Most of the participants 90.5% knew HBV can be transmitted through blood and body fluids. Almost all (98.9%) the respondents knew that HBV is preventable. Most of the respondents (86.3%) associated their job with the risk of the infection and only 13.7% had not received the vaccination. Conclusion: The CHOs demonstrated adequate knowledge about HBV infection but their response to its vaccination was not absolute. The primary healthcare workers as well as other healthcare personnel should be encouraged to receive the complete dose of HBV vaccine to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the infection in healthcare settings.