Community sensitisation and screening for viral Hepatitis B infection In Buea, Cameroon
Despite the high prevalence of viral Hepatitis B infection and the morbidity and mortality associated with chronic infections, many Cameroonians are unaware of their status. This is partly due to the lack of information about the infection and its effects on the health of an individual, and also because of the high cost (about USD 9) for conducting a rapid diagnostic test (HBsAg) for HepB in most health facilities.
Met with this challenge, the FALCOH medical team embarked on a sensitisation and screening campaign for HepB. This activity started on July 28, as part of the commemoration of World's Hepatitis Day. The team gave health talks on Hepatitis B and conducted screening for HBsAg at a subsidized cost (USD 2). This permitted many inhabitants of Buea to realise the test.
However, due to inadequate dissemination of the information the team realised that many people were interested in knowing about the disease and testing themselves but where unaware of the campaign. The team then started a community-based campaign by carrying out sensitisation and screening in the comfort of the homes of individuals and families which indicated the desire to participate.
The team screened about 200 participants among whom were children, elderly, adolescents, and adult males and females alike before the end of the activity.
From the number screened, two cases tested positive for HepB surface antigen. Appropriate counselling and directives was given to all participants according to the outcome of their test result. All participants were satisfied with the approach of home-based sensitisation and screening.