A decision analytic model for prevention of hepatitis B virus infection in Sub-Saharan Africa using birth-dose vaccination

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2018 Apr;141(1):126-132. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.12434. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


Objective: To compare prenatal maternal hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening and infant vaccination strategies to inform policy on HBV prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: A decision analytic model was created using previously published data to assess the ability of three intervention strategies to prevent HBV infection by age 10 years. Strategy 1 comprised of universal vaccination with a pentavalent vaccine (HBV, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and Haemophilus influenzae) at age 6 weeks. Strategy 2 comprised of universal HBV vaccine at birth plus pentavalent vaccine. Strategy 3 comprised of maternal prenatal HBV screening and targeted HBV vaccine at birth for all exposed infants plus pentavalent vaccine. The reference strategy provided neither maternal screening nor infant vaccination. Rates of HBV infection and costs were compared.

Results: The reference strategy had an HBV infection rate of 2360 per 10 000 children. The HBV infection rate for strategy 1 was 813 per 10 000 children vaccinated (1547 cases prevented). Strategies 2 and 3 prevented an additional 384 cases and 362 cases, respectively. Inclusion of HBV vaccination at birth was the preferred approach at a willingness-to-pay threshold of US$150.

Conclusion: Including a birth-dose HBV vaccine in the standard schedule was both cost-effective and prevented additional infections.

Keywords: Birth-dose vaccination; Decision analysis; Hepatitis B virus; Infection; Prevention; Sub-Saharan Africa; Vertical transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Diphtheria / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Haemophilus Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Hepatitis B virus / immunology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Tetanus / prevention & control
  • Vaccination / economics
  • Vaccines, Combined / administration & dosage
  • Whooping Cough / prevention & control


  • Haemophilus Vaccines
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Combined