Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), July 25, 2014 / 63(29);613-9
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Infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are major causes of morbidity and mortality globally, primarily because of sequelae of chronic liver disease including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The risks for HBV and HCV transmission via blood transfusions have been described previously and are believed to be higher in countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This report summarizes HBV- and HCV-related surveillance data reported by the blood transfusion services of WHO member states to WHO’s Global Database on Blood Safety (GDBS). It also evaluates the performance of blood safety programs in screening for HBV and HCV in 38 sub-Saharan Africa countries.