Background: To assess sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) quality of care, syndromic approach acceptability and applicability by patients and health workers in Burkina Faso.
Method: Three approaches were used: simulated patients method to assess quality of STIs care, patients interview and focus discussion with health workers to assess syndromic approach acceptability and applicability.
Results: Sixty-two anonymous visits were made in 17 Bobo-Dioulasso primary care clinics. Overall, history taking were assessed in 77.4% of visits, 47% patients were physically examined. Women (71%) were examined more frequently than men (41%) (P=0.01), 42% of patients were not examined in an isolated room. Medication was prescribed for 87.1% of the patients but only 37.5% of the treatments were applied according to national recommendations. Counselling was poor concerning critical messages regarding risk of HIV transmission, STI prevention. Patients and health workers found the syndromic approach acceptable and applicable, but the question of sexual behaviour was considered difficult to address.
Conclusion: Quality of STIs care is poor in Burkna Faso. Staff training must emphasize interpersonal communication and motivation, with introduction of a sexually-transmitted infection syndrome package consisting of drugs and condoms in order to improve syndromic case management.