Am J Public Health. 1993 Dec; 83(12): 1685-8.
Hepatitis B control in China: knowledge and practices among village doctors.
School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles 90024-1772.
OBJECTIVES. To guide development of a hepatitis B control program in China, we investigated village doctors' sterilization practices, injection use, vaccination levels, and knowledge and counseling skills. METHODS. The head doctor from each village health station in a rural county (n = 260) completed a self-administered questionnaire. RESULTS. Of the respondents, 94.2% reported adequate sterilization of needles; however, inadequate sterilization of syringes and acupuncture needles was common. Injections were found to be frequent and profitable. Of head doctors, 16.2% reported that most infants in their villages are vaccinated against hepatitis B. There was very high knowledge of modes of hepatitis B transmission, but it was not used to formulate advice for a hypothetical carrier. Knowledge of the consequences, prevalence, and use of condoms to prevent sexual transmission was lower. CONCLUSIONS. The sterilization of acupuncture needles, reuse of syringes, and frequent injections are practices that may transmit the hepatitis B virus. Research into issues of vaccine acceptance is needed to expand immunization. A review of treatment practices and better training in counseling for village doctors is suggested.