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Sexually transmitted diseases are chronic infections. It occurs worldwide and the incidence varies significantly with geographical location. Transmission is mainly by sexual contact. STIs affect pregnant women (congenital) which harm unborn children that lead to still or premature birth and miscarriages.

This study is to determine the prevalence of STI among patients attending BUEA Regional Hospital, South West Region Cameroon in an effort to identify the predisposing factors among the patients, in order to institute public health measures to reduce transmission.

The research design will be a cross-sectional study. Samples of 196 individuals who visit Buea Regional will be conveniently collected and examined using standard methods and techniques. Data generated will be subjected to both descriptive and inferential statistics.

Ethical clearance and informed consent will be obtained before data collection. And the entire work is estimated to cost a total of 82,000 FCFA. A structural questionnaire will be used to gather information on the risk factors associated with these infections.



Background of the Study

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are groups of infections or communicable diseases in which the primary mode of transmission is through sexual contact. Some of the common STIs include bacteria vaginosis, herpes, Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/AIDS, and syphilis (Ángel-Müller et al., 2010). STI is classified according to the type of organism causing the infection, which can be bacterial, fungal, viral or of parasitic origin.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae (N. gonorrhoeae) and Chlamydia trachomatis, cause lymphogranuloma venereum, which is characterized by a transient genital lesion at the site of infection on the penis, urethra, scrotum, vagina, cervix, or external female genitalia (Afrakhteh et al., 2013). Additionally, buboes may enlarge to the point that they rupture, producing draining sores. Treponema palladium (T. pallidum), Trichomonas vaginalis (T. vaginalis) are some of the most incriminated etiological agents of STI (Oyewole et al., 2010).

Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the causative agent of gonorrhea, is an intercellular human pathogen that primarily colonizes the urogenital tract. Gonorrhea remains a global public health problem. Nowadays, worryingly, N. gonorrhea has developed high-level resistance to all traditional antimicrobials used for the treatment of gonorrhea, like penicillin, tetracycline, and fluoroquinolone (WHO, 2011).

Trichomonas vaginalis, a small, motile, flagellated, protozoan parasite, causes trichomonal vaginitis (Kirkcaldy et al., 2016). Trichomonas vaginalis is an opportunistic pathogen that could grow abnormally when the vagina ecosystem or the urethra in males has a distorted environmental balance (Oyewole et al., 2010). Treponema pallidum, a thin flagellated spirochete, is the etiologic agent of syphilis. Syphilis is typically acquired via sexual contact, but it also be transmitted transplacentally and by exposure to blood or lesion exudates from infected persons in the primary and secondary stages of the disease (Creatsas and Deligeoroglou, 2012).

Sexually transmitted infections are a major global cause of acute illness, infertility, long-term disability and death, with serious medical and psychological consequences to millions of men, women and infants (Meade and Cornelius, 2012). Sexually transmitted infections are a major public health problem worldwide.

According to the 2005 the World Health Organization (WHO) report, more than 448 million new cases of curable STI (Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and candidacies) and a total of 347 million new cases of gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and syphilis occurred every year worldwide in people aged between 15 and 49 years.

Among this, the majority of the cases were in developing countries. For instance, over 22% of adults with N. gonorrhoeae were found in the WHO African Region, and in both sexes, the prevalence of N. gonorrhoeae, T. pallidum and T. vaginalis were the highest (WHO, 2011). In the developing world, STI presents major health, social and economic problems, leading to considerable morbidity, mortality, and stigma. The prevalence rates apparently are far higher in developing countries where STI treatment is less accessible (Kadir et al., 2014).

Studies indicate that some infections or co-infections of STI have the chance of increasing the risk of HIV transmission. STIs associated with T. vaginalis, N. gonorrhoeae and T. pallidum, C. albicans infections enhance the acquisition and transmission of HIV (Cheesbrough, 2006).

In many parts of the developing world, the absence of etiologic diagnostic capacity due to constraints imposed by cost, lack of equipment or trained personnel, and poor time management have forced health care providers to rely on a syndrome-based approach to STI management. Yet, many STIs have common symptoms or are asymptomatic and therefore go undetected and untreated (Kadir et al., 2014).

Improvement in the management of STIs can reduce the incidence of HIV infection in the general population by about 40%. Prevention and treatment of STIs are therefore critical components of HIV prevention and treatment strategies (Cheesbrough, 2006).

Like other developing countries, in Ethiopia, the burden of STIs is high but there is little information on the incidence and prevalence of STIs because people with STIs who have minor or no symptoms, do not seek treatment at public health facilities. Identifying the etiology and prevalence of STI-causing organisms is important to deliver appropriate treatment and decrease the risk for HIV transmission.

Therefore, this study primarily aimed to determine the prevalence and associated factors of N. gonorrhoeae, T. vaginalis, T. pallidum and Candida spp. among STI attendants at Gondar Town hospitals and health centers (WHO, 2011).

Statement of Problem

Sexually transmitted disease are among the leading causes of illness and death in the world and the world’s most prevalent vector-borne disease. It is responsible for premature and a leading cause of miscarriage and sometimes deaths worldwide (WHO, 2011). It also has a huge medical, economic, and social impact (Krosgstad, 1996; Martens and Hall. 2000; WHO, 2016).

In STI endemic areas, a large proportion of the populace harbor parasites without presenting signs of clinical malaria and are considered asymptomatic cases (Mombo et al., 2003). Asymptomatic carriers do not usually seek treatment for their infection and therefore constitute a reservoir of parasites available for transmission (Kimbi et al., 2012).

Research objectives

General objective

To determine the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among patients attending Buea Regional Hospital South West Region Cameroon.

Specific objectives

  1. To determine the overall prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among patients attending Buea Regional Hospital
  2. To determine the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among patients attending Buea Regional Hospital with respect to age and gender.
  3. To determine the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among patients attending Buea Regional Hospital with respect to risk factors.
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