n South African Medical Journal - Seroprevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen among pregnant women attending the Hospital for Women & Children in Koutiala, Mali : original article




. To establish the rate of seroprevalence of the hepatitis B surface antigen in pregnant women in south-eastern Mali, and to decrease mother-to-child transmission.

. In a descriptive cross-sectional comparison study, 3 659 pregnant women attending a non-governmental hospital in Koutiala, Mali, during 2008 and 2009 were screened for the hepatitis B surface antigen during antenatal clinic attendance or when admitted for delivery. A chart review compared the hepatitis B virus (HBV)-positive women to HBV-negative women used as controls to identify potential risk factors for HBsAg positivity. The variables compared were age, parity, type of genital excision, birth-weight of baby and HIV status.
. A total of 293 (8.0%) pregnant women tested positive for HBsAg. Their average age was 27.6 years, average parity of 2.8 births, 90% had Type 2 genital excision, 21% had low-birth-weight infants, and 14 (0.4%) women also tested positive for HIV. Infants born to HbsAg-positive women were immunised with the hepatitis B vaccine in the delivery room. Two hundred and eighty-four HBV-negative women were compared with the HBV-positive women. None of the differences of means or relationships was statistically insignificant.
. In view of the high endemicity and lack of easily identifiable risk factors, free maternal HBV screening should be provided to all women in Mali, and the infants born to HBsAg-positive women should be immunised within 12 hours of birth.


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