Knowledge and Preventive Practices of Hepatitis B Transmission among Dental Students and Interns in a Tertiary Hospital: A Descriptive Cross-sectional Study
Introduction: Hepatitis B is one of the most common contagious diseases in Nepal and is a signifi- cant public health issue. It is transmitted through contact with contaminated blood or other bodily fluids on broken skin or mucous membranes. Junior doctors and dentists are at particular risk of hepatitis B exposure. This study aims to find the level of knowledge of transmission and prevention of hepatitis B among the dental students.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among dental students and interns at Kantipur Dental College Teaching Hospital and Research Center, Kathamndu from January 2019 to February 2019 after ethical approval was provided by the Institutional Review Committee. The study included dental students and graduate intern doctors. Convenience sampling was done. Point estimate at 95% Confidence Interval was done along with frequency and proportion of binary data.
Results: Out of one hundred forty two students, 68 (48%) of participants had completed a full course of hepatitis B vaccine. Thirty seven (26%) had started but had less than three recommended shots and 37 (26%) had not received any vaccines for hepatitis B prevention. Only 14 (10%) of the study group had checked their hepatitis B titer prior to commencing medical education.
Conclusions: There is also a lack of understanding of transmission, prevention and post exposure prophylaxis for hepatitis B infection among them among new health care providers in Nepal. This puts both the practitioners and patients at risk of chronic hepatitis B infection, which is unnecessary given cheap and easy prevention strategies, can virtually eliminate the risk.
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