A nationwide cross-sectional review of in-hospital hepatitis B virus testing and disease burden estimation in Ghana, 2016 - 2021

Yvonne Ayerki Nartey, Rafiq Okine, Atsu Seake-Kwawu, Georgia Ghartey, Yaw Karikari Asamoah, Kafui Senya, Amoako Duah, Alex Owusu-Ofori, James Amugsi, Damasus Suglo, Sally Afua Bampoh, Lindsey Hiebert, Henry Njuguna, John W. Ward, Amelie Plymoth, Lewis Rowland Roberts, Ansumana Sandy Bockarie, Yaw Asante Awuku, Dorcas Obiri-Yeboah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Data are needed to inform hepatitis B virus (HBV) testing and treatment policies in Ghana to make progress towards achieving the 2030 WHO elimination targets. This study investigated testing patterns for HBV and described the age, sex, and region-specific prevalence of HBV infection in Ghana using hospital data. Methods: A nationwide multi-centre cross-sectional study was performed where hospital-based registers were reviewed. These included review of 139,966 laboratory, 169,048 blood bank, and 83,920 delivery register entries from 22 healthcare institutions in Ghana. Frequencies and proportions, and crude and pooled estimates reported. Chi squared test was used for tests of independence. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with a positive test result. Results: The crude HBsAg seroprevalence was 8.48% (95%CI 8.25–8.57%) with pooled estimate of 11.40% (95%CI 10.44–12.35). HBsAg seroprevalence among children under 5 years was 1.87% (95%CI 1.07-3.27) and highest age-specific seroprevalence was in those 40-49 years. The highest region-specific seroprevalences was in the Savannah (22.7%). Predictors of a positive HBsAg RDT test included female sex (OR 0.81 95% CI 0.74–0.88), and age (OR 1.005 95%CI 1.002–1.007). The proportion of parturient women receiving HBsAg testing increased between 2017 (87.2%) and 2020 (94.3%) (p < 0.001). The crude HBsAg seroprevalence in parturient women was 6.14% (95% CI 5.97-6.31). Among blood donors the crude HBsAg seroprevalence was 5.69% (95%CI 5.58–5.80). Data from 2 teaching hospitals indicated that in 2020, although 1500 HBsAg positive tests were recorded only 746 serological profile and 804 HBV DNA tests were performed. HBV e antigen seroprevalence was 6.28% (95%CI 4.73–7.84). Conclusion and recommendations: Ghana remains a country with high HBV burden. There is an unequal distribution, with higher HBsAg seroprevalence in the north of the country. Furthermore, PCR testing is not widely available outside of large teaching hospitals, which limits diagnostic work-up. Hepatitis reporting systems and registers should be improved to facilitate data capture of indicators and standardised across the country to allow for comparability. Furthermore, where gains have been made in testing among pregnant women, there is a need for linkage to appropriate care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2149
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Children
  • Ghana
  • Hepatitis B
  • Mother-to-child-transmission
  • Seroprevalence
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Testing
  • Viral hepatitis elimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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