Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 526-531

Prevalence and etiology of sexually transmitted infections in a gynecologic unit of a developing country

Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, Dschang, West Region, Cameroon

Correspondence Address:
Fusi-Ngwa Catherine Kesah
Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, 67 Dschang, West Region
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.133708

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Background: Despite enormous sensitization and management options available for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the last 2 decades, these infections remain highly endemic in certain parts of Cameroon. This is a descriptive study of genital hygiene and predisposition to STIs in some women in Dschang, West Region, Cameroon. Materials and Methods: A total of 2172 consenting women seeking gynecological care at the Dschang District Hospital from 2009 to 2010 were interviewed, examined, cervical/blood specimens collected, and analyzed. Results: Inadequate healthcare systems; lack of reproductive health knowledge; vaginal washing with contaminated water or chemicals; contaminated sanitary towels or gynecologic equipment; unsterile sharps; dirty and damp lavatories; synthetic and tight underwear; multiple or concurrent sex partners; primitive traditions; myths; polygamous and inherited marriages; asymptomatic carriage of pathogens; self-medication; antibiotic abuse; traditional therapy; reinfections; poverty; poor sanitation; and illiteracy were related to genital conditions identified in 1466 (67%) study subjects, excluding 41 (2%) cases with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) only. In total, 1353 (62%) patients were infectious cases, 113 (5%) had noninfectious vaginitis, 171 (8%) were positive for HIV/AIDS serology, with 6% having concurrent genital infections. Of the 1507 patients diagnosed with STIs, 62% were symptomatic and 7% asymptomatic comprising 5% convalescent and 2% healthy carriers. Bacterial vaginosis 24%, vaginal candidiasis 18%, chlamydia 15%, and active syphilis 11% predominated over trichomonas, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, herpes, and warts with rates ≤1%. Conclusion: In mitigation, hand washing, clean toilets, sexual behaviors that contribute to STIs, delay sexual debut, condom usage, rational employment of examination methods, improved medical diagnostics testing both men and women, attitude change and prevention education were emphasized on.

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