The Hepatitis B Virus Study has generated a positive impact, creating a huge awareness on the University of Botswana community about the virus, transmission, pathogenesis and treatment.
Presenting research findings at UB recently, Principal investigator, Dr Motswedi Anderson, said the findings indicated that 81.8 per cent of students were now more aware of HBV, showing a positive impact of the study.
Dr Anderson observed that before the study, 45.9 per cent knew nothing about HBV while 6.6 per cent showed awareness. “The result shows how silent HBV has been hence the need for HBV awareness study,” said Dr Anderson. In addition, Dr Anderson said the study also indicated that only 6 per cent of students knew their HBV status while 95 per cent wished to know their status and 5 per cent were neutral about wanting to test for HBV.
She also noted that post-test assessment for transmission and pathogenesis had a higher pass rate of 79.7 per cent than the 27.1 per cent for the pre-test assessment.
Meanwhile, a lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine, Dr Mosepele Mosepele, said HBV was a major global health problem especially life threatening liver infections. Dr Mosepele said HBV could cause chronic infections and put people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer. He further said in Botswana people suffered HBV associated stigma.
The study was initiated by the Student Welfare Department in partnership with Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute. The aim was to determine current knowledge and attitude towards HBV and HBV research in the community. The study involved 60 participants.