Bacterial vaginosis, the leading cause of genital discharge among women presenting with vaginal infection in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Background: Pathological vaginal discharge is a common complaint of women in reproductive age worldwide caused by various agents. The prevalence and etiologic agents vary depending on the population studied. Management of vaginal discharge in low-income countries, typically depend on the syndromic approach, which limits understanding the specific causative agents. We determined the proportion of bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, and trichomoniasis among women with vaginal discharge at a regional referral hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study between June and August of 2017 among nonpregnant women at Amana Regional Referral Hospital. Experienced staff performed physical examination to establish a clinical diagnosis, and collection of the high vaginal swab for microscopic examination. Descriptive statistics were performed to assess the characteristics of study participants and the proportion of vaginal infections.
Results: A total of 196 samples were collected, of all, 128 (65.3%) had either bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis, or trichomo- niasis. Bacterial vaginosis was the leading infection at 33.2%, followed by candidiasis (19.4%) and trichomoniasis (13.3%). Laboratory confirmed vaginal infection were generally found more in age below 25, unmarried, and those employed or petty business.
Conclusion: The proportion of bacterial vaginosis in women with vaginal discharge was relatively higher than others, and the presence of vaginal infection relate to socio-demographic characteristics. Further advanced studies are needed to understand the potential role of aetiologic agents in causing vaginal infections.
Keywords: Bacterial vaginosis; vaginal discharge; genital infection.
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