UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections: trends among patients screened for sexually transmitted infections in rwandan health facilities 2014–2020 Makuza, Jean D.; Soe, Phyumar; Jeong, Dahn; Nisingizwe, Marie P.; Dushimiyimana, Donatha; Umutesi, Justine; Nshimiyimana, Ladislas; Maliza, Clarisse; Serumondo, Janvier; Remera, Eric; et al.


Background Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are of great global health concern. Currently, there are limited epidemiological data characterizing STIs in the general population in Rwanda. We assessed the national and regional epidemiology of STIs in Rwanda from 2014–2020 among patients syndromically screened for STIs in all health facilities in Rwanda. Methods This is a retrospective analysis of the trend of STIs epidemiology among screened patients at all health facilities in Rwanda using data from the Health Management Information System (HMIS) reporting. Adult patients (15 years and over) screened for STIs between July 2014 and June 2020 were included in the analysis. Outcomes of interest were the number of individuals screened for STIs and individuals diagnosed with at least one STI with a syndromic approach only or plus a test together. Results Overall, the number of individuals screened for STIs over the study period was 5.3 million (M) in 2014–2015, 6.6 M in 2015–2016, 6.3 M in 2016–2017, 6.7 M in 2017–2018, 6.2 M in 2018–2019, and 4.9 M in 2019–2020. There was a modest increase in the number of individuals diagnosed and treated for STIs from 139,357 in 2014–15 to 202,294 (45% increase) in 2019–2020. At the national level, the prevalence of STI syndromes amongst individuals screened at health facilities in Rwanda varied between 2.37% to 4.16% during the study period. Among the provinces, Kigali city had the highest prevalence for the whole 6 years ranging from 3.46% (95%CI: 3.41, 3.51) in 2014–2015 to 8.23% (95%CI: 8.15, 8.31) in 2019–2020. Conclusion From 2014 to 2020, the number of patients screened for STI syndromes in Rwanda varied between 4.9 M and 6.7 M. However, the prevalence of STIs among screened patients increased considerably over time, which could be associated with public awareness and improved data recording. The highest prevalence of all STIs was observed in urban areas and near borders, and private clinics reported more cases, suggesting the need to improve awareness in these settings and increase confidentiality and trust in public health clinics.

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