Prophylaxis against gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum. A prospective study

S Afr Med J. 1987 Nov 7;72(9):620-2.


The incidence of gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum (GON) in the area served by the Peninsula Maternity and Neonatal Services in Cape Town is 273/100,000 live births. Two prophylactic agents, 1% silver nitrate ophthalmic solution and 0.5% erythromycin ophthalmic ointment, were introduced in routine eye care of the newborn in the main academic obstetric units. These agents resulted in a significant decrease in the incidence of GON to 34/100,000 live births. The alternative forms of prophylaxis against GON are discussed and the need for reinstitution of prophylaxis is emphasised.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Drug Evaluation
  • Erythromycin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Ophthalmia Neonatorum / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Silver Nitrate / therapeutic use*
  • South Africa


  • Erythromycin
  • Silver Nitrate