Knowledge of hepatitis B among young adults in a Higher learning Institution in Nigeria and its implication on effective disease control.

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Microbial Pathology, University of Medical Sciences, Laje road, Ondo, Ondo state, Nigeria

2 Department of Sociology and Antropology, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

3 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, ilorin, kwara state, Nigeria


Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global health problem, representing a major cause of morbidity and mortality in all age group and sex. Chronic infection with the virus can result in complications such as liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The HBV can be sexually transmitted. Due to their age and adventurous sexual behaviour, young adults are susceptible hence preventing it among this category of people through health education and health promotion is imperative. This study therefore examines the knowledge and sources of information of Hepatitis B among students of a public university in South West Nigeria.
Methods: a descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out between August and December 2019 and involving 228 participants across various academic departments selected through a two-staged sampling method. Information was retrieved through administration of structured questionnaire while data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 20 as statistical tool.
Results: Findings revealed that participants in the study have Fair level of knowledge despite High Awareness about Hepatitis B. The highest source of information about HBV was the internet which was followed closely by School. A statistical significant association was found to exist between knowledge of HBV and age of participants (p Value=0.028), as well as the source of information such as internet (p Value=0.010), school (p Value=0.038) and health talk (p Value=0.010).
Conclusion: The fair level of knowledge displayed among these young adults could adversely affect the effectiveness of a HBV prevention and control programme in the country.  Adequate health education on the subject of HBV transmission and the knowledge that it is preventable need to be reiterated in health promotion activities particularly targeted at young adults.


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