Prevalence of hepatitis B virus amongst refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review

Lee, Caroline, Emeto, Theophilus I., and Walsh, Nick (2022) Prevalence of hepatitis B virus amongst refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review. Journal of Viral Hepatitis, 30 (1). pp. 4-18.

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Abstract

Hepatitis B, caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), is a global public health issue that affects 290 million people worldwide. Most people with hepatitis B are in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), where health systems and resources are often constrained. Refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons (IDPs) often face barriers in seeking health care and are a priority population at risk of hepatitis B. No systematic review to date has evaluated the prevalence of hepatitis B amongst refugees in in LMIC. We undertook a systematic review of the literature identifying 28 studies addressing this topic. Though few studies on this topic exist, the available evidence suggests a high prevalence amongst refugees in LMIC, with wide variation between and within countries. Possible risk factors contributing to hepatitis B include unsafe injections, low immunization coverage, low awareness, mother-to-child transmission, and limited health services. Further study is needed to better understand the prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis B amongst refugees in LMIC, to inform public health responses. Vulnerable populations such as refugees are an important group to consider in national and global efforts to eliminate hepatitis B.

Item ID: 76957
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1365-2893
Keywords: hepatitis B, hepatitis B virus, prevalence, refugees, systematic review
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Viral Hepatitis published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2022 07:55
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420207 Major global burdens of disease @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200404 Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response) @ 100%
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