1Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
2Department of Health and Life Sciences Programme, University of Liverpool/Laureate Online Education, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3 Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
Syphilis in pregnancy is a public health problem mainly in developing countries. If untreated, it can lead to pregnancy and fetal complications. Nation-wide screening at antenatal care is an important intervention for early detection and treatment to prevent complications.
The aim was to evaluate the proportions and trends in the syphilis screening program of pregnant women who were attending the 15 public health care facilities in Gaborone Botswana during the period 2004 and 2008.
We conducted a cross-sectional study in the antenatal care facilities in Gaborone. Data was obtained from the antenatal registers from 7th to 25th September 2009 using a structured data collection sheet. We recorded the number of pregnant women registered for antenatal care, those screened and those not screened for syphilis. The SPSS 14.0 for windows software was used for data analysis.
The overall trends in the proportions of pregnant women screened for syphilis from 2004 to 2005 increased from 87.2% (95% CI, 86.4-88.0) to 89.7% (95% CI, 89.0-90.4), compared to the 2005 to 2006 estimates that showed a declined from 89.7% (95% CI, 89.0-90.4) to 79.0% (95% CI, 77.9-80.1). Seventy five percent of the clinics showed rising trends in the proportions of pregnant women screened for syphilis from 2004-2008.
There were marked variations in the trends among pregnant women screened and those not screened for syphilis in the clinics around Gaborone. The overall trend was an increase screening coverage in the years 2004-2008. There is a need to investigate the factors associated with these variations.
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