Publications

HIV infection has now been consistently identified as the major cause of death in young Africans in both urban and rural areas. In Africa, several studies have defined the clinical presentation of HIV disease but there have only been a limited number of autopsy studies.

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OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of a syphilis control programme of pregnant women on pregnancy outcome in Kenya. METHOD: Women who came to deliver to Pumwani Maternity Hospital (PMH) between April 1997 and March 1998 were tested for syphilis. Reactive rapid plasma reagin (RPR) tests were titrated and confirmed with treponema haemagglutination test (TPHA). Equal numbers of RPR and TPHA negative women were enrolled. Antenatal syphilis screening and treatment history were examined from the antenatal cards. RESULTS: Of 22,466 women giving birth, 12,414 (55%) were tested for syphilis.

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We examined partner notification among syphilitic pregnant women in Nairobi. At delivery, 377 women were found to be rapid plasma reagin (RPR) reactive. Data were available for 94% of the partners of women who were tested during pregnancy; over 67% of the partners had received syphilis treatment while 23% had not sought treatment mainly because they felt healthy. Six per cent of the women had not informed their partners as they feared blame and/or violence.

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the validity of different algorithms for the diagnosis of gonococcal and chlamydial infections among pregnant and non-pregnant women consulting health services for vaginal discharge in Nairobi, Kenya. METHODS: Cross sectional study among 621 women with complaints of vaginal discharge in three city council clinics between April and August 1997. Women were interviewed and examined for symptoms and signs of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Specimens were obtained for laboratory diagnosis of genital infections, HIV, and syphilis.

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BACKGROUND: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to exert a tremendous health burden on women in developing countries. Poor socioeconomic status, inadequate knowledge, lack of diagnostic facilities, and shortages of effective treatment all contribute to the high incidence of STIs. The use of clinical algorithms for the detection and management of STIs has gained widespread acceptance in settings where there are limited resources. Evaluation of these algorithms have been few, especially in women who are not recognized as members of high-risk groups.

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BACKGROUND: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to exert a tremendous health burden on women in developing countries. Poor socioeconomic status, inadequate knowledge, lack of diagnostic facilities, and shortages of effective treatment all contribute to the high incidence of STIs. The use of clinical algorithms for the detection and management of STIs has gained widespread acceptance in settings where there are limited resources. Evaluation of these algorithms have been few, especially in women who are not recognized as members of high-risk groups.

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Untreated maternal syphilis during pregnancy will cause adverse pregnancy outcomes in more than 60% of the infected women. In Nairobi, Kenya, the prevalence of syphilis in pregnant women of 2.9% in 1989, showed a rise to 6.5% in 1993, parallel to an increase of HIV-1 prevalence rates. Since the early 1990s, decentralized STD/HIV prevention and control programmes, including a specific syphilis control programme, were developed in the public health facilities of Nairobi. Since 1992 the prevalence of syphilis in pregnant women has been monitored.

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OBJECTIVES: To identify risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL) of the cervix, and to measure the impact of concurrent HIV-1 infection. METHODS: Women were studied at a family planning clinic in Nairobi, Kenya. Demographic and historical information was obtained using a semi-structured questionnaire and specimens were collected for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HPV, cervical cytology, and HIV-1 testing.

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A cross-sectional descriptive study on knowledge, attitudes, and practice about emergency contraception (EC) was conducted among nurses and nursing students using a self-administered questionnaire. One-hundred-sixty-seven qualified nurses and 63 nursing students completed the questionnaire. Over 95% listed at least one regular contraceptive method but only 2.6% spontaneously listed EC as a contraceptive method, whereas 48% of the respondents had heard of EC. Significantly more nursing students than qualified nurses were familiar with EC.

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Periodical monitoring of the susceptibility profiles of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae strains is important in order to adapt empirical treatment strategies. The recommended, cumbersome technique is determination of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) by the agar dilution technique, easy to use, and also validated for gonococci.

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