Antenatal syphilis in sub-Saharan Africa: missed opportunities for mortality reduction.

Publication Date:

01 Sep 2001

Citation:

Gloyd S, Chai S, Mercer MA. (2001). Antenatal syphilis in sub-Saharan Africa: missed opportunities for mortality reduction. Health Policy Plan. 16(1), 29-34. doi: 10.1093/heapol/16.1.29

 

Abstract

Purpose: Between 4–15% of pregnant women are believed to be infected with syphilis in sub-Saharan Africa. Active infection with syphilis in pregnant women results in foetal or infant death or disability for 50–80% of affected pregnancies, and is a major cause of adult morbidity as well. Antenatal syphilis screening is cheap and effective; however, it is often poorly implemented in countries with high syphilis risk. This study sought to estimate the missed opportunities for antenatal syphilis screening in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: Survey data were collected from 22 ministries of health in sub-Saharan Africa, complemented by data from published sources and key informants. Informants described their country’s policies and experience with antenatal syphilis screening and estimated their national syphilis screening rates.

Findings: Seventy-three percent of women are reported by WHO to receive antenatal care in the study countries. Of women in antenatal care, 38% were estimated by survey respondents to be screened for syphilis. Costs and the organization of services were the principal reported obstacles to screening. With syphilis seroprevalence estimated at 8.3%, approximately 1 640 000 pregnant women with syphilis are undetected annually, including 1 030 000 women who attend antenatal care.

Discussion: Syphilis testing and treatment is a cost-effective intervention that deserves much greater attention, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and other countries where syphilis infection is high.

 

Read the Full Article

 

HAI’s Transition 2021

HAI has transitioned our global operations and active programs to the local NGOs CSM (Mozambique) and HAMNASA (Timor-Leste). Learn more using the buttons below

Why Transition?

Learn about CSM

Learn about HAMNASA

Stand with HAI

Stand with HAI

Our Mission

Our mission is to promote policies and support programs that strengthen government primary health care and foster social, economic, and health equity for all. Our vision is a just world that promotes health and well-being, including universal access to quality health care.

Our History

Health Alliance International began in 1987 as a US-based international solidarity organization committed to supporting the public sector provision of health care for all.  Over 35 years, HAI conducted programs in 17 countries, with flagship programs in Mozambique, Côte d'Ivoire, and Timor-Leste.

Our Evolution

In line with HAI’s commitment to support and strengthen local public health leadership, as of October 2021, HAI fully transitioned global operations and active programs to locally-based, locally-led NGOs. Learn more about this shift toward local autonomy and equity in global health.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Didn't find what you were looking for?