STUDY OF AWARENESS ABOUT HEPATITIS B AMONG MEDICAL STUDENTS, A VULNERABLE GROUP OF HEALTHCARE WORKERS (HCWS)

Abstract

Satyajit Sundar Ray

BACKGROUND
Hepatitis B is a serious global public health problem. Awareness regarding this serious disease (preventable by vaccination) was lacking among majority of healthcare workers. As risk of occupational exposure to HBV among healthcare workers was a major concern. This study was conducted to assess the level of awareness, attitudes and practice among medical students regarding hepatitis B infection.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
A cross-sectional study was condcted from February to March 2014 among 352 undergraduate medical students. Data were collected using predesigned, pretested questionnaire and analysed by using EPI info 3.5.1.
RESULTS
93.2% said hepatitis B was transmitted by contaminated blood and body fluid and by unsterilised syringes, needles and surgical instruments. 97.2% said hepatitis B was diagnosed by hepatitis markers test, 89.2% said that vaccination was the choice for treatment of hepatitis B, 94.6% said that vaccination was main source of post exposure prophylaxis and 91.2% said that HBIG was used for post exposure prophylaxis. Most of the students had positive attitude about hepatitis B. Among 352 students, 56.2% were fully vaccinated and 8.8% were partially vaccinated and 35% were unvaccinated.
CONCLUSION
Different aspects of knowledge about hepatitis B were quite good among medical students, but there was a gap in practice as 44% students were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against hepatitis B.

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