Background to the study
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the most common viruses in the modern world and ranked by the WHO as one of the top ten killers (Samir,2013). The virus is responsible for approximately 1.5 million deaths worldwide each year, two thirds of which are attributable to primary hepatic carcinoma following HBV infection (Martin, 2013; Heymann, 2014). About 360 million people are chronically infected with HBV. These chronically infected persons are at higher risk of death from HBV-related liver cancer or cirrhosis by approximately 25% and over 4 million new acute clinical cases occur (World Health Organization, 2012; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009). Hepatitis B virus(HBV) is preventable with a safe and effective vaccine, the first vaccine against cancer due to HBV infection (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2013).
Hepatitis B virus is a well-known occupational hazard of health care workers and they are considered to be at substantial risk for acquiring or transmitting the virus because of the occupational contact with blood, blood products and other body fluids (Kohn et al., 2013). The occupational risk for HBV acquisition varies according to the work place in the health care setting and time of exposure to the agent (Ciorlia & Zanetta, 2015).
The practice of modern medicine has widely contributed to increasing the cases and spreading the disease in the society. Hepatitis B virus infection is common due to lapse in the sterilization technique of instruments or due to the improper hospital waste management as 10 to 20% health care waste is regarded hazardous and it may create variety of health risk (Taneja & Biswal, 2016). Among the health care personnel, HBV is transmitted by skin prick with infected, contaminated needles and syringes or through accidental inoculation of minute quantities of blood during surgical and dental procedures. Knowledge regarding HBV and safety precautions is needed to minimize the health care settings acquired infections among health personnel. Health care personnel should have complete knowledge of HBV infections, importance of vaccinations and practice of simple hygienic measures apart from that of specific protective measures.
Statement of the problem
Acute infection of Hepatitis B virus may cause nonspecific symptoms or fulminant hepatitis that may requires urgent liver transplantation(Schillie, Murphy,Sawyer,Hughes & Jiles,2013) Chronic infection virus causes death associated with cirrhosis, liver failure, or hepatocellular carcinoma(Wilkins,Zimmerman & Schade,2010). Hepatitis B virus(HBV) ranks second, after tobacco, on the list of known carcinogenic agents affecting humans(Causse,Delaunet & Ahme,2009). Furthermore, infection with HBV constitutes the first etiology of hepatocellular carcinoma and the tenth leads to death globally(Causse,Delaunet & Ahme,2009).
Students in the field of medical studies are a group of persons who are at high risk to get and spread HBV because their activities involve contact with patients or blood or other body fluids in healthcare, laboratories or public‑safety settings(Ahmed,Chowdhury, Chowdhury & Khatoon,2010). The risk varies during their career, but it is often the highest during their professional training. Students lack important knowledge about and the appropriate practice toward infectious, occupational risks of HBV. This has made them more vulnerable to the Hepatitis B virus infection. Although many studies in different countries have been conducted, there have been very few attempts to evaluate the knowledge, attitudes and practice of undergraduates’ student in Nnamdi Azikiwe University regarding occupational risks of HBV.This necessities this study into investigating the knowledge of Hepatitis B virus infection, causes and prevention among Nnamdi Azikiwe undergraduates.
Purpose of the study
The main purpose of the study is to investigate the knowledge of Hepatitis B virus infection, causes and prevention among Nnamdi Azikiwe undergraduates. Specifically, the study will ascertain
- Knowledge of Hepatitis B virus infection among Nnamdi Azikiwe university students.
- The extent of the Knowledge on the causes and mode of transmission of Hepatitis B virus infection.
- The knowledge on prevention of Hepatitis B virus infection among Nnamdi Azikiwe university students.
Significance of the study
The study is beneficial to student, health practioners and future researchers.
Students will benefit from the study as the student will examine the various student possess about HBV and make necessary contribution on the causes and possible control and prevention method against HBV.
Health practioners will also benefit from the study as the student is re-emphases the need for effective prevention of Hepatitis B virus infection, among them since they are more likely to be vulnerable due to the kind of their occupation.
Future researchers will benefit from the study as the findings of the study will serve as a source of reference and material for related studies.
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study covers an investigation of the knowledge of Hepatitis B virus infection, causes and prevention among Nnamdi Azikiwe undergraduates. Specifically, the scope will focus on knowledge of Hepatitis B virus infection among Nnamdi Azikiwe university students, extent of the Knowledge, causes and mode of transmission of Hepatitis B virus infection and knowledge on prevention of Hepatitis B virus infection among Nnamdi Azikiwe university students.
In order to achieve the purpose of this study, the following research questions are posed to guide the study as follow;
- What Knowledge of Hepatitis B virus infection is possessed among Nnamdi Azikiwe university student?
- What is the extent of Knowledge, on the causes and mode of transmission of Hepatitis B virus infection?
- What knowledge on prevention of Hepatitis B virus infection is possessed among Nnamdi Azikiwe university students.
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