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Evaluating coverage of maternal syphilis screening and treatment within antenatal care to guide service improvements for prevention of congenital syphilis in Countdown 2030 Countries
  • Published Date:
    Jun 2020
  • Source:
    J Glob Health. 2020; 10(1)
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-410.88 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    J Glob Health
  • Description:

    Countdown to 2030 (CD2030) tracks progress in the 81 countries that account for more than 90% of under-five child deaths and 95% of maternal deaths in the world. In 2017, CD2030 identified syphilis screening and treatment during antenatal care (ANC) as priority indicators for monitoring.


    Country-reported data in the UNAIDS Global AIDS Monitoring System (GAM) system were used to evaluate four key syphilis indicators from CD2030 countries: (1) maternal syphilis screening and (2) treatment coverage during ANC, (3) syphilis seroprevalence among ANC attendees, and (4) national congenital syphilis (CS) case rates. A cascade analysis for CD2030 countries with coverage data for the number of women attending at least 4 antenatal care visits (ANC4), syphilis testing, seroprevalence and treatment was performed to estimate the number of CS cases that were attributable to missed opportunities for syphilis screening and treatment during antenatal care.


    Of 81 countries, 52 (64%) reported one or more values for CS indicators into the GAM system during 2016-2017; only 53 (65%) had maternal syphilis testing coverage, 41 (51%) had screening positivity, and 40 (49%) had treatment coverage. CS case rates were reported by 13 (16%) countries. During 2016-2017, four countries reported syphilis screening and treatment coverage of ≥95% consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) targets. Sufficient data were available for 40 (49%) of countries to construct a cascade for data years 2016 and 2017. Syphilis screening and treatment service gaps within ANC4 resulted in an estimated total of 103 648 adverse birth outcomes with 41 858 of these occurring as stillbirths among women attending ANC4 (n = 31 914 408). Women not in ANC4 (n = 25 619 784) contributed an additional 67 348 estimated adverse birth outcomes with 27 198 of these occurring as stillbirths for a total of 69 056 preventable stillbirths attributable to syphilis in these 40 countries.


    These data and findings can serve as an initial baseline evaluation of antenatal syphilis surveillance and service coverage and can be used to guide improvement of delivery and monitoring of syphilis screening and treatment in ANC for these priority countries.

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