Everyday, over one million new cases of curable Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are recorded among 15 to 49 years population, a World Health Organisation (WHO) research reveals.
The figure amounts to over 376 million new cases annually of four infections, including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and syphilis.
According to the research findings, in 2016, there were 127 million new cases of chlamydia, 87 million of gonorrhoea, 6.3 million of syphilis and 156 million of trichomoniasis. The data published online yesterday by WHO bulletin reiterated the urgency for access to treat these diseases, warning that “untreated STIs have grave health implications.”
Executive director for Universal Health Coverage and the Life-Course at WHO, Dr. Peter Salama, described the report as a wake-up call for a concerted effort to ensure that everyone, everywhere accessed the services they need to prevent and treat these debilitating diseases.
“We’re seeing a concerning lack of progress in stopping the spread of STIs worldwide. These STIs have a profound impact on the health of adults and children worldwide.” “If untreated, they can lead to serious and chronic health effects that include neurological and cardiovascular disease, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirths and increased risk of the human-immuno virus (HIV).”
“STIs are also associated with significant levels of stigma and domestic violence. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are major causes of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility in women.” According to the report, syphilis alone caused an estimated 200,000 stillbirths and newborn deaths in 2016, making it one of the leading causes of baby loss globally.
“In its later stages, syphilis can cause serious cardiovascular and neurological disease. All four diseases are associated with an increased risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV.
Transmission of these diseases during pregnancy can lead to serious consequences for babies, including stillbirth, neonatal death, low birth weight and prematurity, sepsis, blindness, pneumonia and congenital deformities,” it said.
The report further revealed that STIs remained a persistent and endemic health threat worldwide, indicating that since the last published data for 2012, there had been no substantive decline in either the rates of new or existing infections.
“On the average, approximately one in 25 people globally have at least one of these STIs, according to the latest figures, with some experiencing multiple infections at the same time,” it added.