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Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in women attending antenatal care in Tete province, Mozambique

J Luján
W Arrázola de Oñate
W Delva
P Claeys
J Fernando
E Folgosa
F Sambola
M Temmerman


Objective. To determine the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis
(CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and syphilis in pregnant
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

SAMJ Vol. 98 (1) 2008: pp. 48-51

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eISSN: 2078-5135
print ISSN: 0256-9574