Hepatitis B vaccination status and associated factors among undergraduate students of Makerere University College of Health Sciences

PLoS One. 2019 Apr 5;14(4):e0214732. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0214732. eCollection 2019.


Background: Hepatitis B is a global health problem. Trainees in the health-related fields are exposed to occupational risk of Hepatitis B Virus. In Uganda, there is scarcity of information on vaccination among students in health-care. The objective of this study was to assess hepatitis B vaccination status of the students and factors associated.

Methods and findings: This was a cross sectional study, conducted at Makerere University College of Health Sciences among undergraduate students who were eligible. A self-report on Hepatitis B vaccination status and various characteristics were collected on each participant, using a standardized structured self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were computed, bivariate and multivariate analysis were done using Stata 14.

Results: Out of 760 participants, 44.3% (95% CI 35.2-52.8) reported full vaccination. Vaccination was associated with gender, course, year of study and student's sponsorship. Males were less likely to be vaccinated, Prevalence Ratio (PR) 0.79; P-value <0.001, while self-sponsored students were also most likely to be vaccinated, PR 2.08; P-value <0.001. About 37% reported an accidental needle injury during their training.

Conclusion: Full vaccination was low and given the high prevalence of needle injuries, it raises a safety concern. Vaccination should be mandatory for all students prior to clinical exposure. There is need for targeted interventions to increase uptake.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B / immunology
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Self Report
  • Students, Health Occupations / psychology
  • Students, Health Occupations / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.