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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686


OBUNGE, O.K. et al. A flowchart for managing sexually transmitted infections among Nigerian adolescent females. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2001, vol.79, n.4, pp.301-305. ISSN 0042-9686.

OBJECTIVE: To devise a flowchart suitable for assessing risk of trichomoniasis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea in an adolescent population, not all of whom will be sexually experienced or currently in a relationship. METHODS: The data used to derive the flowchart were generated from cross-sectional microbiological surveys of girls aged 14-19 years in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The flowchart screened on the basis of: (i) sexual experience; (ii) recent sexual activity; (iii) a positive urine leukocyte esterase (LE) test; and (iv) among LE negatives, a history of malodorous/pruritic discharge. FINDINGS: Using this flowchart, we found that 26.2% of all adolescents screened would receive treatment for cervicitis and vaginitis. Chlamydial, gonococcal, and trichomonal infections were correctly diagnosed in 37.5%, 66.7%, and 50 % of the cases, respectively. CONCLUSION: Although the flowchart is more suitable for an adolescent population than the vaginal discharge algorithm used in syndromic management protocols, it still lacks precision and needs adapting to local settings.

Keywords : Sexually transmitted diseases [therapy]; Chlamydia infections [diagnosis]; Gonorrhea [diagnosis]; Trichomonas vaginitis [diagnosis]; Risk assessment [methods]; Software design; Cross-sectional studies; Adolescence; Nigeria.

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