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ABSTRACT: To determine the seroprevalence and cost effectiveness of antenatal syphilis screening at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), Maiduguri, Nigeria.
A retrospective chart analysis of venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) results among pregnant women at the UMTH, Maiduguri, Nigeria, during a 10-year period (from 1st January 1999 to 31st December 2008) was undertaken.
A total of 18,712 women registered for antenatal care during the study period. Of these, 18,101 had serological screening for syphilis. Only 12 of the 18,101 screened were seropositive by VDRL, 9 (75%) were confirmed by Treponema pallidum hemagglutination assay (TPHA), giving a seroprevalence rate of 0.05%. Three (25%) were biological false-positive. The peak age-specific incidence of 0.02% was in the 20-24 year-age group. There was zero prevalence in the age groups 15-19 and >40 years. There was no case of congenital syphilis seen. The cost for VDRL testing per patient in UMTH is US$2. The total amount of money spent on VDRL tests over the study period was US$37,424.
The seroprevalence rate of syphilis is extremely low in this study. This calls for a review of the policy of routine antenatal serology screening for syphilis in Maiduguri, Nigeria.
Saudi medical journal 10/2009; 30(10):1311-5. · 0.62 Impact Factor