Objective A hepatitis A vaccine is available, but is not routinely given as part of a child’s normal immunisation schedule. Viral hepatitis A is an infection and inflammation of the liver caused by hepatitis A virus. This type of hepatitis is usually spread in Bosnia by fecal–oral contact, or fecal-infected food and water and may also be spread by blood-borne infection, which is rare.
Methods Blood test results can usually determine exactly what type of hepatitis the child has, but the test takes several days in the capital city Sarajevo.
Results Children under 6 years old often have no symptoms. Teens and adults usually have symptoms. Complications such as fulminant hepatitis is rare: 0.2% of cases in Sarajevo. Hepatitis A vaccination coverage rates for children aged 18–36 months are lower than overall rates for other vaccines recommended for children in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Discussion Vaccination coverage also varies by ethnicity, urban economic situations, epidemiological situations and paediatric departments in the public health system in each part of the Canton of Sarajevo.
Conclusions Usually this vaccine (Havrix) is given to children in areas at high risk of getting the disease or to children over 2 years of age travelling outside Bosnia. If a child has been exposed to hepatitis, an antibody preparation can be administered to help protect them from contracting the disease. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, hepatitis A can occur in situations ranging from isolated cases of disease to widespread epidemics.