The Early Results of a New Health Care Program Implementation in HBV Screening: an Iranian Experience

Afsaneh Sharifian, Nostratollah Naderi, Azar Sanati, Seyed Reza Mohebi, Pedram Azimzadeh, Ali Golmohamadi, Simin Nori, Mahsa Khanyaghma, Farshad Sheikhesmaeili, Mohamad Reza Zali



According to the reports of World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B infection in Iran has decreased from 2-7% in 2001 to 1.3-0.8% in children aged 2-14 years. In 2010 the Institute of Medicine recommended more comprehensive screening by primary care physicians (PCPs) for evaluation, vaccination, and management of infected patients for further decrease in the prevalence of chronic HBV infection. Thus, with contribution of the Health Department, we developed a practical flowchart for PCPs to start active screening of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in all visited patients and refer the positive cases for further evaluation and management to Taleghani Hospital.


With collaboration of Health Department of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences), physicians of health centers were asked to screen all their patients for HBsAg. Positive cases were referred to Taleghani Hospital. They were first registered and educated about their disease, life style, and prevention methods. Their first degree families were screened for HBV infection too and were referred for vaccination if needed. According to the results of lab tests, appropriate management was done by a hepatologist.


Since implementation of this program, we have encountered a significant rise in patient detection (even in high risk groups). Many of them were not aware of their disease and most of those who were aware of their disease were not managed appropriately. Family screening and vaccination were inadequate and need more emphasis.


Although health system is active about screening of HBV infection in high risk populations, it is not perfect. It seems that health system needs to upgrade the screening and management programs of HBV infection.



Health Care; HBV; Screening; Iran

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