UBC Research Data

Replication Data for: Cango Lyec (Healing the Elephant): Chronic Hepatitis B Virus among post-conflict affected populations living in Mid-Northern Uganda Malamba, Samuel S; Muyinda, Herbert; Ogwang, Martin D; Katamba, Achilles; Zamar, David S; Jongbloed, Kate; Sewankambo, Nelson K; Schechter, Martin T; Spittal, Patricia M


Background: The legacy of war in Northern Uganda continues to impact people’s health and wellbeing in the Acholi region. Despite increasing attention to Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) in Uganda and globally, concerns remain that unique drivers of infection, and barriers to screening, and treatment, persist among those affected by conflict.

Methods: Cango Lyec (Healing the Elephant) cohort survey involved conflict-affected adults aged 13-49 in three mid-Northern Uganda districts (Gulu, Amuru and Nwoya). Baseline (2011-2012) samples were tested for HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), HBV e-antigen (HBeAg), antibodies to HBV surface antigen (HBsAb), antibodies to HBV e-antigen (HBeAb), and antibodies to HBV core antigen (HBcAb). All HBsAg positive samples were tested for IgM antibodies to HBV B core antigen (HBc-IgM) and where available, >6-month follow-up samples were tested for HBeAg and HBV DNA. Data were analyzed using STATA 15 software. Logistic regression accounted for variance due to complex two-stage sampling that included stratification, unequal selection probabilities and community clustering. Odds ratios measured effect potential risk factors associated with chronic HBV infection.

Results: Among 2,421 participants, 45.7% were still susceptible to HBV infection. HBsAg seropositivity was 11.9% (10.9-13.0), chronic HBV was 11.6% (10.4-12.8), acquired immunity resulting from vaccination was 10.9%, and prior natural infection was 31.5%. Older age (OR:0.570; 95%CI:0.368-0.883) and higher education (OR:0.598; 95%CI:0.412-0.868) were associated with reduced odds of chronic HBV infection. Being male (OR:1.639; 95%CI:1.007-2.669) and having been abducted (OR:1.461; 95%CI:1.055-2.023) were associated with increased odds of infection. Among women, having 1 or 2 pregnancies (compared to none or >2) was associated with increased odds of infection (OR:1.764; 95%CI:1.009-3.084).

Conclusion: Chronic HBV is endemic in Gulu, Amuru and Nwoya districts. Recommended strategies to reduce post-conflict prevalence include establishment of Northern Uganda Liver Wellness Centres, integration of screening and treatment into antenatal care, and roll out of birth-dose vaccination.

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