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Aim: This study was conducted to determine the knowledge, prevalence and associated risk factors of viral hepatitis among migrant female head porters (Kayayei) in La-Nkwantanang Madina municipality of the Greater Accra region, Ghana.
Study Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out at three market centers [Atima, La-Nkwantanang and Madina markets] within the La-Nkwantanang Madina municipality of the Greater Accra region, Ghana.
Methodology: A total of 125 kayayei residing and working in La-Nkwantanang Madina municipality were included at the time of the study. A semi-structured questionnaire and focus group discussions were adopted to collect demographic and knowledge data while blood samples were drawn from each participant for hepatitis B and C assays.
Results: Results from the study shows, prevalence of hepatitis B was 7.2% and that for hepatitis C was 6.4% respectively. One (0.8%) person was co-infected with hepatitis B and C virus. Majority (73.6%) of kayayei had no knowledge on viral hepatitis and its spread with risk factors associated with hepatitis virus were; unprotected sexual intercourse (OR = 2.93, 95% CI = 1.032-8.288) and multiple sexual partners (OR = 5.23, 95% CI = 1.302-21.02).
Conclusion: Viral hepatitis infection is common among kayayei and the level of knowledge of this disease is low. The study recommends; regular sensitization on adolescent and reproduction health among these vulnerable group and educational programs on negative the effects of child labour extended to parents in northern Ghana to discourage their daughters from migrating to the cities for head porterage but rather stay in school. Again, future research prospects can look at prevalence of comorbidity of HIV and Hepatitis as well as human papillomaviruses (HPVs) among these vulnerable group.
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