Hepatitis B is the world’s most common serious liver infection caused by Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Rate of vertical transmission is very high from infected mother to baby and has adverse effect on both. A cross-sectional study involving a total of 384 pregnant women attending Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Addis Ababa from April to June 2017 was conducted to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors of HBV among the clients. A structured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data and information regarding possible risk factors for HBV infection and screening was performed by emmuno-chromatographic method using advanced quality one step hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) test card. The seroprevalence of HBsAg among the participants was 2.3%, which is a moderate prevalence according to the WHO classification. HBsAg positivity was significantly associated to age (P=0.020) and ethnic group (P=0.023). About 67% of the HBsAg positive participants belonged to the Gurage ethnic group. No significant association was found between HBsAg positivity and other variables such as marital status (P=1.00), history of multiple sexual partners (P=0.740), history of blood donation (P=1.00), history of tattooing (P=0.070), and history of female genital mutilation (P=0.188). Further study should be conducted to identify the reasons for the highest prevalence of the HBsAg among women from Gurage ethnic group.
Key words: Chronic hepatitis, pregnancy, hepatitis B virus, vertical transmission.
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