The return of syphilis as a relevant infection during pregnancy

7 Nov 2022
Mesa de intercambio

Montevideo, November 7, 2002. On November 3, within the framework of the FIGO 2022 Regional Congress, a breakfast with experts "The return of syphilis as a relevant infection during pregnancy" took place. 

In addition to the director and advisors of the Latin American Center for Perinatology - Women's and Reproductive Health (CLAP/WR), health personnel from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico and Peru participated.

During the meeting, the participants recalled that the eradication of congenital syphilis seemed imminent some time ago, however, we are still far from achieving this goal.

In this regard, the regional advisor on Sexual and Reproductive Health of CLAP/WR, Rodolfo Gómez, pointed out that there were 30,071 cases of congenital syphilis reported by countries in the Americas in 2021, which corresponds to an incidence rate of 2.1 per 1,000 live births. Gómez indicated that in several countries there is a resurgence of congenital syphilis, as a result of the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, which led to a drop in the quality of care. 

Suzanne Serruya, director of CLAP/SMR, referred to the need to "think about the entire path that the woman follows during care, because monitoring is fundamental". 

In this regard, reference was made to the advantages and opportunities presented by SIP Plus. SIP Plus is the web version of the SIP (Perinatal Information System) and allows, among other things, the generation of indicator reports with a single click. 

Participants from different countries discussed the difficulties encountered in eradicating congenital syphilis, including the stigma attached to this type of disease and the obstacles sometimes encountered in treating couples.

During the exchange, the relevance of communication to provide accurate information to help break down prejudices, to alert about the dangers of the disease and the impact it can have on babies, and to make known concrete alternatives for prevention, was present.

Mr. Gómez announced that the course: Accelerating elimination of congenital syphilis: ensuring adequate diagnosis and treatment, was recently published on PAHO's virtual campus and invited participants to take it.

The experts agreed that congenital syphilis is a serious public health problem and that it is necessary to reinvigorate international commitments for its elimination.