Syphilis among pregnant women in Juba, Southern Sudan

East Afr Med J. 2010 May;87(5):192-8. doi: 10.4314/eamj.v87i5.63073.


Objective: Determine factors associated with syphilis among pregnant women.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Antenatal clinics of Juba Teaching Hospital, Malakia National Health Insurance Centre and Munuki Primary Health Care Centre in Juba, Southern Sudan.

Subjects: Consenting pregnant women not on syphilis treatment.

Main outcome measures: Socio-demographic and clinical data, knowledge and behavioural characteristics.

Results: Of the 231 pregnant women participants, 51 (22.1%) were positive for syphilis with the rapid plasma reagin test and 79 (34.2%) were positive with the treponema pallidum Haemagglutination assay. Risk factors for syphilis were: housewife (OR 2.808; P= 0.0116), abortion (OR 2.654; P= 0.0116) and partner travel (OR 2.149; P= 0.028). Attending antenatal clinic for previous pregnancy was protective (OR 0.281; P= 0.0004) for syphilis.

Conclusions: This is the first study to determine the prevalence and associated factors in the three clinics in Juba, South Sudan. There is a high prevalence of syphilis in pregnant women attending the selected health facilities. Treponema Pallindum Haemagglulination Assay can be used as a field test for syphilis due to its high sensitivity and specificity. Health education, screening and treating positive expectant mothers can reduce the prevalence of syphilis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Prenatal Care
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sudan
  • Syphilis / diagnosis
  • Syphilis / epidemiology*
  • Syphilis / prevention & control
  • Young Adult