Evidence of hepatitis C transmission in healthcare settings in Karachi, Pakistan
Transmission of Hepatitis C (HCV) in Pakistan is a continuing public health problem. Several cultural and behavioral practices promote HCV transmission through the use of unsafe needles and blood products. This study aimed to determine the prominent risk factors associated with HCV transmission in the Indus Hospital catchment population. A case-control study design was implemented to enroll 300 laboratory confirmed HCV+ participants from consulting clinics at Indus Hospital and 300 laboratory confirmed HCV− participants from both the consulting clinics and the surrounding community. Odds ratios and their 95% were calculated for each risk factor to create a two gender specific multivariable models and a combined multivariable model. Participants who received 12 or more injections in the past year, ever received a blood transfusion, or ever had dental work performed were all independently significant more likely to be HCV+ when compared to those who received 1–4 injections in the past year, never received a blood transfusion, or never had dental work performed. Female participants who received 12 or more injections in the past year, had a blood transfusion while pregnant, or ever had dental work performed were all significantly more likely to be HCV+ while males who received 12 or more injections in the past year were also significantly more likely to be HCV+. Participants who brought their own needles to their injections or infusions along with those who were born in the Sindh province were significantly less likely to be HCV+ when compared to those who did not bring their own needles or born in the Punjab province. Clearly transmission in healthcare settings are implicated for HCV transmission. A population level preventative approach must be taken to educate both the population and healthcare practitioners to prevent further transmission in the Pakistani healthcare system. Participants should also be followed and re-interviewed to ask where they received their various treatments as well as assess their knowledge and attitudes towards injections, infusions, and other unsafe medical procedures.
Asian Studies|Health sciences|Public health
Ver Hoeve, Emily, "Evidence of hepatitis C transmission in healthcare settings in Karachi, Pakistan" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1511936.