Hepatitis B Knowledge, Risk Perception, Behavioral Skills, and Infection Burden among Students and Staff at Victoria University, Kampala, Uganda

Ismail Bamidele Afolabi *

Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Victoria University, Kampala, Uganda and Department of Public Health, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Cavendish University, Kampala, Uganda.

Abdulmujeeb Babatunde Aremu

Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Victoria University, Kampala, Uganda and Faculty of Health Sciences, Islamic University in Uganda, Kampala Campus, Kampala, Uganda.

Joshua Mborifue

Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Victoria University, Kampala, Uganda.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Background: The global efforts concertedly endorsed towards eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health challenge necessitate the provision of adequate and pertinent information related to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infectivity, which will help in tackling the lingering chronicity of HBV infection in developing countries. This study aimed to assess the burden of HBV infection and                                 the underlying predictors of HBV infection risk among students and staff of Victoria University, Uganda.

Methods: We captured data from 164 conveniently selected participants. Surface antigen for HBV (HBsAg) was detected using rapid tests. Analysis of variance (ANOVA), regression analysis, and chi- square tests were performed to ascertain the study hypotheses at a cut-off of (p<0.05).

Results: The respondents’ mean age was 24.25 ± 25.64 years. Relatively half (56.1%) were males. Students (85.4%) were predominant. Regarding the burden of hepatitis B virus infection, HBsAg prevalence was 4.3%, observed among unmarried, first-year students, and residents of Central Uganda. Students’ year of study (χ2 = 10.323, p =<0.035) was significantly associated with HBsAg status. Furthermore, the respondents obtained mean scores of 3.45±4.10, 3.71±4.44, and 10.90±11.80 for knowledge, risk perception, and behavioral skills, respectively. Similarly, inadequate HBV-specific knowledge (F = 13.85, p<0.001), low risk perception (F = 13.22, p<0.001), and bad behavioral skills (F = 64.05, p<0.001) all predicted the risk of HBV infection.

Conclusion: The findings affirm the lingering high endemicity of HBV infection in Uganda and imply an immediate need for targeted university-based hepatitis-B-related education and relevant vaccination policies such as mass vaccination in academic institutions to prevent HBV infection effectively in Uganda.

Keywords: hepatitis B virus infection, HBV-specific knowledge, risk perception, behavioral skills, University


How to Cite

Afolabi, Ismail Bamidele, Abdulmujeeb Babatunde Aremu, and Joshua Mborifue. 2024. “Hepatitis B Knowledge, Risk Perception, Behavioral Skills, and Infection Burden Among Students and Staff at Victoria University, Kampala, Uganda”. International Journal of Pathogen Research 13 (4):1-15. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijpr/2024/v13i4292.

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