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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-32

Seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus in blood donors at a large teaching hospital of Pakistan: A potential health policy concern

1 King Edward Medical University, Mayo Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
2 Department of Medicine, King Edward Medical University, Mayo Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, King Edward Medical University, Mayo Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
4 Medical Officer, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
5 Adult Hematology/BMT, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Syed Maaz Abdullah
11/A, Block W, Model Town C, Bahawalpur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joah.joah_10_19

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BACKGROUND: Hepatitis B is an important public health problem for Pakistan. Being asymptomatic in many of the carriers, it needs screening to assess disease burden. Screening blood donors will not only help point out the subliminally diseased individuals but will also offer a boost to treatment rates and preclude the dreaded complications in the affected population. AIM: The aim of this study is to estimate disease burden and depict current trend of Hepatitis B in healthy blood donors by assessing its prevalence at one of the largest hospitals of Pakistan over a 2-year interval. This will serve to offer a direction to health policymakers to channel their resources in an attempt to accelerate diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic measures against the disease. METHODOLOGY: It is a retrospective single-center cross-sectional study. We screened 76,530 healthy blood donors for hepatitis B virus (HBV) visiting Mayo Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan during 2016 and 2017 with rapid test kits which used lateral flow immunoassay based on the principle of double antibody sandwich technique. RESULTS: Out of 76,530 donors in 2016 and 2017, we detected 1262 donors (1.65%) positive for hepatitis B viral serology. CONCLUSION: We found a positivity rate of 1.65% of hepatitis B in healthy blood donors during 2 years. Although in comparison to 2016, the positivity rate has somewhat declined in 2017, but it remains worrisome. Our findings endorse the need for policy making to sustain and amplify the current HBV screening and treatment strategies and enhance public awareness.

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