South African Medical Journal

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Congenital syphilis as a notifiable disease

D.E. Ballot, AD Rothberg


A review of the notification of congenital syphilis at Johannesburg Hospital from 1 May 1991 to 30 April 1992 was conducted to evaluate the effect of the recently introduced notification programme. A total of 209 Wassermann reaction (WR)-positive mothers were delivered during this time; 12 pregnancies (5,7%) resulted in stillbirths and 8 (3,8%) in incomplete abortions, and there were 2 (0,96%) early neonatal deaths. Only 45 (21,5%) of this group of WR-positive mothers had received antenatal care, and of these 9 (20%) had had adequately documented treatment. There were thus 200 potentially notifiable cases of congenital syphilis according to the Centers for Disease Control classification, of which 24 (12,0%) were actually notified. The goals ofthe notification programme, namely to increase awareness of congenital syphilis among health care providers and to evaluate the extent of the problem accurately, are clearly not being Illet.

AJOL African Journals Online