Open Journal of Epidemiology

Volume 9, Issue 2 (May 2019)

ISSN Print: 2165-7459   ISSN Online: 2165-7467

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.63  Citations  

Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus and Associated Risk Factors among Inmates at New Bell Prison, Douala, Cameroon

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DOI: 10.4236/ojepi.2019.92011    921 Downloads   1,857 Views  Citations


Although a high prevalence of HCV infection in correctional facilities has been well reported in several countries around the world, there has been no such data from Cameroon. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and factors associated with viral hepatitis C seropositivity among prisoners incarcerated at the New Bell Central Prison in Douala. From the 2nd to the 27th of July 2018, 940 inmates selected using a systematic random sampling method were interviewed to collect data on sociodemographic status, duration of incarceration, number of incarcerations and risk factors for HCV transmission. Blood samples were collected for screening of anti-HCV antibodies via HEPA-SCAN HCV CARD Test. Positive samples had a confirmatory ELISA test. Data were analysed using EPI DATA software. Statistical significance was set at a p < 0.05. Of the 940 prisoners selected, 94.1% (884) were males. The mean age of the study population was 33.81 ± 10.35 years (extremes: 14 and 74 years). HCV prevalence was 4.4% (40). The use of non-injectable illicit drugs (OR 2.87 95% CI 1.44 - 5.73) (p = 0.002) but not injectable illicit drugs (OR 1.91 95% CI 0.43 - 8.41) (p = 0.42), male homosexuality (OR 17.45 95% CI 7.58 - 40.13) (p < 0.001), sharing of needles (OR 3.45 95% CI 1.59 - 7.83) (p = 0.001), past history of tattooing or piercing (OR 5.94 95% CI 2.80 - 12.16) (p < 0.001) and age ≥ 50 (OR 4.069; 95% CI 1.9 - 8.68) (p = 0.003) were significantly associated with HCV antibodies positivity. Inmates in New Bell Central Prison accumulate risk factors for viral hepatitis C, thus contributing to the high prevalence in this setting. Control strategies and programs that reach this particular population should urgently be implemented.

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Kowo, M. , Andoulo, F. , Ngek, L. , Sizimboue, D. , Ndam, A. , Ondo, B. , Bagnaka, S. , Djanteng, R. , Ndam, E. and Njoya, O. (2019) Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus and Associated Risk Factors among Inmates at New Bell Prison, Douala, Cameroon. Open Journal of Epidemiology, 9, 119-128. doi: 10.4236/ojepi.2019.92011.

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