• Journal Article

Seroprevalence and risk factors of syphilis infection in pregnant women delivering at Harare Maternity Hospital, Zimbabwe

Citation

Pham, L., Woelk, G., Ning, Y., Madzime, S., Mudzamiri, S., Mahomed, K., & Williams, M. A. (2005). Seroprevalence and risk factors of syphilis infection in pregnant women delivering at Harare Maternity Hospital, Zimbabwe. Central African Journal of Medicine, 51(3-4), 24-30.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate risk factors and outcomes of syphilis during pregnancy. DESIGN: Hospital based, cross sectional study. SETTING: Harare Maternity Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe. SUBJECTS: A random sample of 2 969 pregnant women. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Syphilis seroprevalence. RESULTS: Of the 2 969 women who provided blood samples, 4.8% were RPR positive. Approximately 2.2% of study subjects were RPR positive and TPHA negative. Notably, 2.5% of the population was RPR and TPHA positive at the time of giving birth. Older women had a higher risk of having positive syphilis status (p = 0.057). Increases in parity and gravidity were significantly associated with increased risk of syphilis infection. Prior stillbirths were associated with an increased risk of syphilis infection (odds ratio [OR], 3.4; 95% CI, 1.61 to 7.37; p = 0.001). Syphilis positive mothers were significantly more likely to give birth to syphilis positive newborns (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that there should be more effective antenatal screening and treatment of syphilis in Harare. Syphilis affects many sub-Saharan countries where effective educational outreach, screening, and treatment should take place to prevent the transmission of this venereal disease, especially among reproductive age and pregnant women