HEPATITIS B AWARENESS AMONG HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ADANA
Objective: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a common cause of liver disease throughout the world. Turkey is known to have an intermediate endemicity. The prevalence of HbsAg varies between 1.7% and 14.2%. Sixty percent of the population of Turkey is at the age of 25 and younger. The number of HBV carriers is estimated as 4 million. The aim of this study was to assess the awareness of hepatitis B infection among high-school students in Adana, a city of Turkey.
Materials and Methods: A survey was carried on 2352 high-school students from ten schools randomly selected in the city of Adana in 1999-2000. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 9.0 pocket program. ANOVA and c2 tests were used for statistical analysis.
Results: Of 2352 students, 50.1% were male and 49.9% were female. Mean age was 16.5±1 years (range 14-21 years). Six questions were asked about the route of transmission of HBV: affected age groups, risk groups, the affected organ, whether it may cause cancer, and vaccination. The percentage of correct responders for these questions were 4%, 98%, 10%, 28%, 24%, and 40%, respectively.
Conclusion: There was a significant relationship between awareness of hepatitis B and older age, higher grade, higher educational status of parents, and higher family income. However, neither the awareness nor the vaccination rates for hepatitis B among high-school students were satisfactory. Vaccination and education programmes for hepatitis B should be implemented immediately.