Approaches to control sexually transmitted diseases in Haiti, 1992-95.

Abstract:

:Despite major obstacles, activities to control sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) were initiated in Haiti in 1992 in collaboration with local nongovernmental organizations. The approaches included review of available local data, assessment of STD case management practices and constraints, and development of specific STD control activities at the primary health care level, such as systematic screening of all pregnant women for syphilis and improved comprehensive syndrome-based STD case management. The activities included conduct of local studies, presentation and dissemination of results to key audiences, training of health care providers, improvement of local capacities, and consensus-building on implementation of STD control approaches. STD awareness and case management improved considerably; for example, 69% of the clinicians interviewed reported correct STD treatments in the north-eastern primary health care centres in 1995, compared with < 10% in 1992. At the end of the project, national STD case management guidelines were developed by consensus between the various organizations and the Ministry of Health. Lessons learned included the importance of local data generation and of communication and collaboration with various institutions for consensus-building, the need for continued training, and field supervision to ensure behaviour change among STD care providers. A national STD control programme should be implemented as soon as possible in both the public and private sector. External funding will remain critical to control this important public health problem in Haiti. :Mid-1992 was a time of considerable political and socioeconomic instability in Haiti. Haiti's first democratically elected president had been ousted by a military junta and both political crimes and human rights abuses abounded. No national sexually transmitted disease (STD) control program was in place and almost no data were available on the magnitude and scope of STDs in the country. In this context, and despite many obstacles, STD control activities were planned with the hope of eventually developing a national STD control program. US Agency for International Development-funded AIDSCAP HIV/AIDS/STD prevention initiatives were first launched in Haiti in mid-1992 in collaboration with local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Direct collaboration with the de facto government was not allowed until democracy was restored in October 1994. The authors describe the STD control approaches and interventions initiated under these circumstances, with lessons learned for potential application outside of Haiti. Approaches included a review of available local data, an assessment of STD case management practices and constraints, and the development of specific STD control activities at the primary health care level, such as the systematic screening of all pregnant women for syphilis and improved comprehensive syndrome-based STD case management. Local studies were conducted, with the salient results presented to key audiences; health care providers were trained; local capacities improved; and consensus built upon the implementation of STD control approaches. STD awareness and case management improved considerably, with national STD case management guidelines developed at the end of the project through consensus between various organizations and the Ministry of Health.

authors

Behets FM,Génécé E,Narcisse M,Liautaud B,Cohen M,Dallabetta GA

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

1998-01-01 00:00:00

pages

189-94

issue

2

eissn

0042-9686

issn

1564-0604

journal_volume

76

pub_type

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