More than 75,000 pregnant women risk passing syphilis to babies


As the world focuses on major causes of preterm birth on World Prematurity Day, a new report estimates that 75,000 pregnant women with syphilis could transmit the condition to their unborn babies.

Also, the report, “Congenital Syphilis in Nigeria, Zambia, and India: Identifying Policy Pathways to Eliminate Mother- to-Child Transmission of Syphilis,” also revealed that presently, no national strategy for congenital syphilis elimination exists. Besides, there is low level funding at the state level, hindering congenital syphilis reduction efforts in the country.

Similarly, it details the severe health issues caused by congenital syphilis, which range from early foetal loss to stillbirth and premature birth.

The World Prematurity Day is marked on November 17. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease, STD,that can cause longterm complications if not treated correctly.

Symptoms in adults are divided into stages. You can get syphilis by direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Sores can be found on the penis, vagina, anus, in the rectum, or on the lips and in the mouth.

Syphilis can also be spread from an infected mother to her unborn baby.

The report issued from the International non-profit PATH, with support from the Nigerian non-profit, Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), highlighted the toll that parent-to-child transmission of syphilis has on mothers and babies.

Nigeria has one of the highest burdens of maternal syphilis of any African country, with an estimated 75,000 pregnant women with syphilis in 2012, resulting in thousands of poor health outcomes for their newborns.

However, according to the report, solutions exist because congenital syphilis is easily detectable with rapid point-of-care diagnostics and easily treatable with antibiotics, no mother or newborn should suffer.

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