Assessment of High School Students’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Vaccination Status of Hepatitis B Virus in Hohoe, Ghana: A Cross-sectional Study
Edem Kojo Amedonu1, Joshua Kwabena Aniaku1, Adam Fusheini2, *
1 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Hohoe, Ghana
2 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a highly infectious disease and a major global public health threat. About one-third of the world’s population is estimated to be infected with Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia, regarded as high prevalence regions of between 5-10% of the adult population chronically infected. Comprehensive knowledge of HBV in highly endemic areas like Ghana among population groups is crucial to mitigating the effects of the disease. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess the knowledge of students of two high schools on the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) in the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta Region of Ghana to identify and describe their risk of infection, attitude, test, and vaccination status.
A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted in the two Senior High Schools. The survey involved 244 students of both boys and girls from years one to three. Recruitment was through a stratified simple random sampling technique. Data was collected via respondents’ self-administered questionnaire. Data was analysed using STATA version 12.0.
The results of the study showed moderate knowledge, especially of the modes of transmission and prevention among the majority of the respondents (89.2%). Protection against the virus was a concern as about 19.5% reported receiving the HBV vaccine, with 7.2% completing all three doses. Respondents also showed a generally positive disposition towards the disease. The school and mass media were the main sources of information about HBV.
The findings of the study showed that high school students (teenagers) have various misconceptions about HBV as the majority of students in the Hohoe municipality had moderate knowledge of HBV. The study also established that teenagers are at risk of contracting the virus, given the low vaccination status, as seen in the study.
Keywords: Hepatitis B, Senior high school, Knowledge and attitude, Vaccination, Hohoe, Ghana.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand; Tel: +64 3 479 9463; E-mail: email@example.com