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In Rwanda, the prevalence of viral hepatitis (HCV) is poorly understood. The current study investigated the prevalence and risk factors of HCV infection in Rwanda. A total of 324 patients attending Rwanda Military Hospital were randomly selected and a questionnaire was administered to determine the risk factors. Blood was collected and screened for anti-HCV antibodies and seropositive samples were subjected to polymerase chain reaction method. Hematology abnormalities in the HCV infected patients were also investigated. Anti-HCV antibody and active HCV infection were found in 16.0% and 9.6% of total participants, respectively. Prevalence was highest (28.4%; 19/67) among participants above 55 years and least (2.4%; 3/123) among younger participants (18-35 years). There was a significant (P = 0.031) relationship between place of residence and HCV infection with residents of Southern Province having significantly higher prevalence. The hematological abnormalities observed in the HCV infected patients included leukopenia (48.4%; 15/52), neutropenia (6.5%; 2/52), and thrombocytopenia (25.8%; 8/52). The HCV infection was significantly higher in the older population (>55 years) and exposure to injection from traditional practitioners was identified as a significant (P = 0.036) risk factor of infection. Further studies to determine the factors causing the high prevalence of HCV in Rwanda are recommended.


Esperance Umumararungu, Fabien Ntaganda, John Kagira, Naomi Maina. Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Its Risk Factors among Patients Attending Rwanda Military Hospital, Rwanda. BioMed research international. 2017;2017:5841272

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PMID: 28246598

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