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WCID 2024

Halita Medlyn Garuba

Halita Medlyn Garuba, Speaker at Infection Conferences
University of Lagos, Nigeria
Title : Hepatitis B virus knowledge, screening and vaccination status of vulnerable young adults in a disadvantaged urban community in Lagos, Nigeria


Background: Hepatitis B is a preventable disease of public health significance; untreated infection leads to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and death. Young adults can be infected via unprotected sexual intercourse. Our study assessed the Hepatitis B-related knowledge and preventive measures among vulnerable young adults in a densely populated urban community in Lagos, Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used to collect information from 314 young adults in Mushin local government area using a multi-staged sampling technique. Data was analysed using SPSS version 26 software with p value set at <0.05.

Results: The mean age of the participants was 22.26 ± 3.52 years. Regarding gender identity, 49% identified as males and 49% identified as females. Majority of the respondents (98.4%) were heterosexual. More than half of the respondents were employed (61.5%). About onethird of the respondents (28.3%) drink alcohol. Only 5.1% of the respondents had ever used any recreational drugs.

Less than one-third (26.4%) of the respondents were aware of Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Among this group, 84.3% were knowledgeable of HBV transmission and prevention. Only 8.0% of the respondents had been vaccinated against hepatitis B, and 10.5% of the respondents had been screened for HBV. The low vaccination rate reported was attributed to a lack of awareness and interest in the vaccine, busy schedules, and the fear of injections.

Conclusion: Awareness of HBV, screening for the virus as well as immunization is very low in our study population. This will hamper the achievement of the goals in the national strategic plan for Hepatitis B elimination in Nigeria.

Audience Take Away:

  • Most Hepatitis B research on the knowledge and preventive measures is focused on health workers, neglecting young adults, which are equally a group-at-risk. This research will enlighten the audience about how young adults are at risk of being infected.
  • They will learn about the disadvantage of not getting adequate health information on viral preventable diseases and inadequate access to care in a developing country, may limit one from treating Hepatitis B infections early to prevent complications. This may propel them to want to make an impact by helping disperse information about vaccine preventable diseases, and advocate for availability of these vaccines to at-risk groups. - They would learn about factors that affect the knowledge and preventive measures against hepatitis B, and apply this in their lives. It will aid them to make better health-informed decisions, and prioritizing vaccination and screening for themselves.
  • The audience will most likely be made up of a science-related population, and this research will add value to them as they get enlightened about Hepatitis B outside the laboratory. - This research will broaden their horizon regarding Hepatitis B virus and its transmission.
  • It could be use to emphasize the importance of vaccination and screening against hepatitis B for all members of the faculty and students as well. It can be added to the body of work from developing countries, and be used to compare with the data of developed countries. Practical examples could be gotten from this research as it also shows how locally-made alcoholic and hard drugs in Nigeria are used among vulnerable young adults.
  • The data is analysed adequately; this makes the designer’s job to be more effective and efficient.
  • This research will improve the accuracy of a design
  • People infected with the hepatitis B virus often face stigma as individuals without proper knowledge its transmission and may be frightened to even have direct contact with an infected person. This research will help demystify all the myths regarding the transmission and its preventive measures, and further emphasize on need for the elimination of the stigma for those infected. Moreover, their educational and employment choices, economic opportunities, and romantic relationships may be negatively affected.


Halita Garuba is a highly motivated final-year medical student with a profound interest in hepatology and public health, aspiring to become a dedicated and empathetic medical practitioner. She is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She is deeply interested in research and believes it is a tool that can be used to make an impact as regards preventable diseases, especially Hepatitis. She is a serial volunteer who uses her medical and exceptional communication skills to treat and counsel her patients to make more health-informed decisions, as regards viral preventable diseases.


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