Is there room for general practice in penitentiary institutions: screening and vaccinating high-risk groups against hepatitis
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of hepatitis markers in inmates and staff of the Penitentiary of Neapolis on Crete and discuss the role of GPs in identifying and vaccinating susceptible subjects.
METHOD: Forty-five prisoners and 20 house workers were invited to participate in the study. Hepatitis B (HBV) markers (HBsAg and anti-HBc) and hepatitis C antibodies (anti-HCV) were tested. Vaccination against hepatitis B was administered to all susceptible subjects.
RESULTS: Hepatitis B carriage was found in 10 people, six of whom were prisoners. Fifteen of the subjects tested were found to be positive for anti-HBc, six of whom were house workers. Anti-HCV were found to be positive in seven prisoners and one worker. A vaccination programme against hepatitis B was introduced in 27 susceptible subjects (58.7% of unexposed subjects) and was completed in 22.
CONCLUSION: Prisoners and staff at Neapolis Prison constitute a high-risk group for hepatitis B and C. Compliance rate in screening was high and GPs were successful in having a desirable response rate in the administration of vaccines.