, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 7 – A new report by the World Health Organisation shows that there are at least one million new cases of curable Sexually Transmitted Infections among people aged 15 to 49 years globally daily.
According to the report released on Thursday, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and syphilis are the four most common venereal infections transmitted every day.
The research shows that among men and women aged 15-49 years, there were 127 million new cases of chlamydia in 2016, 87 million of gonorrhoea, 6.3 million of syphilis and 156 million of trichomoniasis.
Dr Peter Salama the Executive Director for Universal Health Coverage and the Life-Course at the World Health Organisation, said this is a wake-up call for a concerted effort to ensure everyone, everywhere can access the services they need to prevent and treat these diseases.
“We are seeing a concerning lack of progress in stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections worldwide,” he said.
If untreated, the infections can lead to serious and chronic health effects including neurological and cardiovascular disease, infertility, still births and increased risk of contracting HIV.
Transmission of these diseases during pregnancy can lead to serious consequences for babies including still birth, neonatal death, low birth weight and prematurity, sepsis, blindness, pneumonia and congenital deformities.
The report reveals that syphilis alone caused an estimated 200,000 still births and newborn deaths in 2016 making it one of the leading causes of baby loss globally.
Sexually Transmitted Infections can however be avoided through safe sexual practices, including correct and consistent condom use and sexual health education.
Alongside WHO’s efforts to encourage sexually active people to get screened for STIs, they also recommend pregnant mothers to systematically get screened for syphilis as well as HIV.
All bacterial STIs can be treated and cured with widely available medications. However, recent shortages in the global supply of benzathine penicillin has made it more difficult to treat syphilis.
Rapidly increasing antimicrobial resistance to gonorrhoea treatments is also a growing health threat, and may lead eventually to the disease being impossible to treat.
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