Syphilis a growing concern for expectant mothers

Syphilis is considered a sexually transmitted infection (S.T.I) due to its mode of transmission. The condition affects both male and female gender and is mostly transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse. At the Magbenteh Community Hospital Antenatal Clinic (ANC) we diagnose an average of 2 cases per day in expectant mothers.

At Magbenteh Community Hospital, as part of our antenatal programme, consisting of 8 visits, all women are tested for syphilis upon arrival at the clinic. It is much harder for us to obtain statistics for men with the infection because women usually come alone for check-ups. The Head of the Antenatal Clinic, Mary Koroma is particularly concerned. “Syphilis in female patients in acute cases leads to sterility or complications during pregnancies. These complications can include still births, miscarriages and in some cases high blood pressure.”

Positive cases are treated with Benzathine Penicillin on a weekly basis, involving deep intramuscular injections. This new method of treatment has been adapted due to resistance of bacteria and fatal reactions or side effects seen in the previous medication.