Factors associated with uptake of Hepatitis B Vaccine among selected workers in Kenya Medical Research Institute Centers in Nairobi in 2014

Gathugu G.M, Gikunju J.K, Mbugua G.G, Njomo W.D

Gathugu G.M [1], Gikunju J.K[1], Mbugua G.G[2], Njomo W.D[2]

  1. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
  2. Kenya Medical Research Institute.

Corresponding author: George Gathugu Mbugua, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Kenya Medical Research Institute Email; gathz06@yahoo.com


Introduction: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is an occupational health hazard preventable by vaccination. The risk of contracting HBV by health care workers (HCW) is four-times greater than that of general adult population.  The current study was conducted to determine factors associated with the uptake of hepatitis B vaccination among selected workers in research centers in Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Nairobi.

Methods: The study design was descriptive cross-sectional and utilized both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. Simple random sampling was used to select 142 Biomedical Researchers and a structured questionnaire was administered to   them for quantitative data. Six Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted among laboratory drivers and outsourced laboratory cleaners.  Additionally, eight In-Depth Interviews were conducted with bio-safety representatives, people working in incineration rooms and Chief Laboratory Technicians who were purposively selected.  Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS IBM version 20 on descriptive and binary logistic regression (Enter).  The level of significance was set at <0.05. Qualitative data was analyzed manually according to the thematic areas of study.

Results: Results indicated that only 31.7% of the Biomedical Researchers had received Hepatitis B vaccination. Slightly more than two thirds (27.7%) of the respondents did not report any injuries occurring in the course of their duty.  A large proportion (95.8%) of the respondents who were laboratory workers had adequate information about hepatitis B and its vaccine.  Working in a collaborated project was significantly associated with hepatitis B vaccine uptake (cOR 83.5; p<0.001). Having knowledge on the effectiveness of hepatitis B vaccine (cOR 7.6;p=0.037), first source of information about  hepatitis B being KEMRI (cOR 2.2 ;p=0.037) and journals (cOR 3.1; p=0.030) were significantly associated with uptake of hepatitis B vaccine.  Working in project collaboration was the only significant variable in binary analysis (aOR=64.5, P <0.001). Lack of knowledge on availability of thee vaccine in the hospitals was a significant barrier hindering uptake of hepatitis B vaccine (cOR= 0.29; p= 0.009).  Other barriers associated with lack of uptake to hepatitis B uptake included,expensive cost of the vaccine (p <0.001), government initiated project (P=0.003), lack of perception of being at risk of infection (cOR 8.1;p=0.009) and failure of the institute to cater for it free of charge.

Conclusion: The level of hepatitis B vaccine uptake among KEMRI laboratory workers is very low. The Institute should cater for the cost of the vaccine to all workers who come into contact with biological specimen during their course of duty.  Additionally, there is need for more awareness creation on the vaccine availability in KEMRI and in various hospitals.

Key words: Hepatitis B Vaccine, uptake, selected workers, KEMRI

[Afr J Health Sci. 2017; 30(2):174-189]

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