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Syphilis among pregnant women in Juba, Souther Sudan

SK Emmanuel
M Lado
S Amwayi
AM Abade
JO Oundo
Jr Ongus


Objective: Determine factors associated with syphilis among pregnant women.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Antenatal clinics of Juba Teaching Hospital, Malakia National Health Insurance Centre and Munuki Primary Health Care Centre in Juba, Southern Sudan.
Subjects: Consenting pregnant women not on syphilis treatment.
Main outcome measures: Socio-demographic and clinical data, knowledge and behavioural characteristics.
Results: Of the 231 pregnant women participants, 51 (22.1%) were positive for syphilis with the rapid plasma reagin test and 79 (34.2%) were positive with the treponema pallidum Haemagglutination assay. Risk factors for syphilis were: housewife (OR 2.808; P= 0.0116), abortion (OR 2.654; P= 0.0116) and partner travel (OR 2.149; P= 0.028). Attending antenatal clinic for previous pregnancy was protective (OR 0.281; P= 0.0004) for syphilis.
Conclusions: This is the first study to determine the prevalence and associated factors in the three clinics in Juba, South Sudan. There is a high prevalence of syphilis in pregnant women attending the selected health facilities. Treponema Pallindum Haemagglulination Assay can be used as a field test for syphilis due to its high sensitivity and specificity. Health education, screening and treating positive expectant mothers can reduce the prevalence of syphilis.