|dc.description.abstract||Background: Hepatitis B virus belongs to the family Hepadnaviridae. It is the commonest cause of chronic viral
hepatitis. It is responsible for up to 80% of primary liver cancers. Despite the existence of a safe and effective
vaccine, HBV infections still remain a global public health problem. Pregnant women who are carriers of the virus
pose a significant risk to their unborn babies. Early diagnosis in this group can provide an avenue for prevention of
mother to child transmission which will in turn lead to a reduction in the number of chronic carriers who act as a
source of new infections.
Methods: The study was a multicenter, hospital based cross-sectional study. Data collection was using a
questionnaire-guided interview followed by HBsAg determination using SD bioline test device. Data entry and
statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 16. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: The prevalence of Hepatitis B among pregnant women in Kigali is 3.1%.The study findings also indicated
that the mean age of the participants was 28.03 years with a standard deviation of 5.6 years. Majority of the women
(37.4%) were between 25 and 29 years. About two thirds of the recruited women resided in urban area while a third
was from rural area. Most of the women (61.3%) had attained primary level formal education with only a few with
tertiary level education (7.9%). 6% of them had no formal education. Majority of these women (95%) were in
marriage unions a majority of which were monogamous.
Conclusions: The findings indicate an intermediate endemicity of HBV among the pregnant women in Kigali at 3.1%
prevalence, the lowest among the East African countries. This is among the first Hepatitis B prevalence studies
among the pregnant women, hence it provides baseline data that can be useful in contributing to knowledge of the
disease characteristics, stimulate further research on the disease and also contribute to informing policy on control