TABLE 3-2 Prevalence of Selected Reproductive Tract Infections Among Pregnant Women, Selected Developing Countries, 1980s: in percent

Country

Syphilisa

Gonorrheab

Chlamydiab

Cameroon

14.5

Central Africa Republic

9.5

9.5

Ethiopia

16.9

Gabon

5.5

9.9

Gambia

11.0

6.7

6.9

Ghana

3.1

Kenya

6.6

29.0

Malawi

13.7

Malaysia

2.0

0.5

Mozambique

6.3

Nigeria

2.1

5.2

6.5

Saudi Arabia

0.9

Somalia

3.0

South Africa

20.8

11.7

12.5

Swaziland

33.3

3.9

Tanzania

16.4

6.0

Uganda

40.0

Zaire

2.0

Zambia

12.5

11.3

Zimbabwe

7.0

9.9

a Diagnosis is based on Treponema Pallidum Haemagglutination test (TPHA) and Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody test (FTA-Abs).

b Diagnosis is based on culture of vaginal secretion.

SOURCE: Data from World Health Organization (1986), Wasserheit (1989), and Over and Piot (1993).

could be due to sexually transmitted infection or to previous infection with nonvenereal treponematoses (Larsen, Hunter, and Creighton, 1990). WHO estimates that in 1995, approximately 12 million new cases of adult syphilis will occur worldwide, with the greatest number in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa (World Health Organization, 1995b). With this limitation in mind, past syphilis infections among pregnant women have ranged from less than 1 percent in Saudi Arabia to more than 33 percent in Swaziland (see Table 3-2). In one population of rural Somalia, nearly one-quarter of men and women in the general population had past evidence of syphilis (Over and Piot, 1993). Overall, syphilis is highly prevalent in developing countries, and considerable risk for congenital syphilis exists in many areas (Brunham and Embree, 1992).

Gonorrhea, like syphilis, is more prevalent in developing countries



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