SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
LUJAN, Jhonny et al. Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in women attending antenatal care in Tete province, Mozambique. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2008, vol.98, n.1, pp.49-51. ISSN 2078-5135.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and syphilis in pregnant women. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among women attending antenatal care clinics (ANCs). Blood samples were tested for syphilis using the rapid plasma reagin (RPR) and treponemal haemagglutination (TPHA) tests; CT and NG were diagnosed using a manual polymerase chain reaction assay on first-void urine samples. A socio-demographic questionnaire was completed. Results were compared with previous published data on sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevalence in Mozambique. RESULTS: Blood and urine samples were collected from 1 119 and 835 women, respectively. The prevalence of CT was 4.1%, and that of NG 2.5%. The RPR test was positive in 5.2% of the women, and 7.1% had a positive TPHA test. Active syphilis was found in 4.7%. In univariate analysis, CT was associated with having had any level of education (p<0.05), reactive RPR and TPHA were associated with illiteracy (p<0.05), and TPHA was associated with age >25. Multivariate analysis did not show any significant association. In comparison with published data from 1993, a decline was observed for CT (p<0.05), NG and syphilis (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Compared with available data, a decline of STI prevalence was observed in our setting. This might be the result of community-based education programmes focusing on changes to sexual behaviour, as well as the widespread use of the syndromic approach to managing STIs and the expansion of syphilis screening in primary health care settings. However, STI rates are still high, and the problem needs more concrete and sustained efforts for its control.