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Perceptions Regarding Hepatitis B and C Diseases, and their Risk Factors among Ward Boys Working in Tertiary Care Hospitals of Islamabad


Muhammad Abdullah*, Ejaz Ahmed Khan, Amar Javed, Faisal Ameen, Hafiz Abdul Wajid, Naheed feroz Ali, Aziza Shaheen and Aqeel Abbas

Background: Hepatitis is a serious public health issue in the present era. More than 2 billion population is suffering from Hepatitis infection. Similarly, there are about 36 million healthcare professionals globally, out of which approximately 3 million per year get an injury from some sharps, thus resulting in 2 million subjects being infected with HBV and 1 million with HCV (WHO). A systematic study of 2015 showed HCV seroprevalence in the adult population of Pakistan was 6.8 whereas individuals infected with HCV were 6%. Methods: A qualitative study, with Phenomenological approach, was conducted among wardboys of Islamabad. Two Tertiary care hospitals of Islamabad, one in the public sector and the other in the private healthcare sector were selected as a study site. In-depth interviews with purposely and conveniently with selected ward-boys working in both the hospitals. A total of 25 in-depth interviews were conducted by the principal researcher from wardboys, 12 and 13 from the public and private sector hospital till the saturation was achieved. Results: 25 participants were interviewed on the basis of the interview guide and asked in detail about hepatitis B and C disease, their risk factors and causes. It was found that wardboys lacked comprehensive knowledge about the disease process. They did not adopt preventive strategies and precautionary measures and they lack refresher training and possess knowledge about the spread of infection which was close to none. Little efforts were made in these hospitals to ensure the safety of this group which would render them at high risk of attaining infection as well as transmitting it. Apart from health care workers, especially the wardboys that are subjects of this study were not compelled and penalize to follow infection control standards which led to the downfall of the system and provided a way for infection to proliferate and prosper. Conclusion & Recommendations: From this study, it is concluded that ward boys in private and public tertiary care hospitals are at high risk of acquiring Hepatitis B and C infection. They lacked knowledge about the infective disease and its preventions. Certifications should be made mandatory for ward boys to allow for work in this environment. Hospitals do not have an efficient system for infection control measure and lack of infection control training. It is important to make infection control processes strong and conduct regular refresher training for all health care workers.

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