Chlamydia in Africa

STD is short for the sexually transmitted disease. There are many kinds of STDs. Chlamydia is a kind of sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. It is among the common ones and is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse.

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Chlamydia is curable; however, due to the lack of information about the said infection, many are untreated and are only detected when it’s at its worst. Hence, the rise in deaths related to it. In Africa, there are about 92.6 million new cases of STIs. This includes Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Treponema pallidum, and Trichomonas vaginalis. Among these STIs, according to WHO, Chlamydia has about 5.1 million or 2.6% prevalence rate in Africa.        

Symptoms

Chlamydia affects both men and women. However, the symptoms and severity differ. Most men with chlamydia experience pain when urinating, feeling of tenderness and swelling of the testicle, and penile discharge. A study focusing on STIs in Ghana has found that out of 186 people who have been tested, 167 had Chlamydia; 24% of them were men, and 76% were women. 

There are a lot more symptoms in women. Women who are diagnosed with Chlamydia usually experience an urgency to urinate, discomfort when urinating, yellow vaginal discharge that usually has a foul odor, low-grade fever, bleeding between periods, pain when having sexual intercourse, and the swelling of the vagina or around the anus. Also, it complicates pregnancy, and it also puts risks on the child. One study found that chlamydia trachomatis antibodies were found in 33.3% of mothers with stillbirths. It may also damage the eyes, lungs, and skin of the child.  

Contraction & Diagnosis

Contrary to what many believe, Chlamydia cannot be spread by kissing, toilet seats, or hot tubs. It can be spread from person-to-person through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The bacteria can also enter one’s body when a body part moistened with infected secretion come in contact with the eyes. Chlamydia is diagnosed by testing samples from a urine sample, throat, vagina, or cervix. 

Treatment  

study in 2008 found that about 9.1% of adults in Africa are being infected by Chlamydia. It mostly infects young adults from age 15 to 25, since this age is the most active in sexual activities. Once diagnosed, patients will be prescribed with antibiotics. Aside from this, it is suggested to abstain from any sexually related activities to avoid the spreading of the infection; the abstinence should last for about a week or until the prescribed antibiotics are finished. Azithromycin and doxycycline are two antibiotics that are often prescribed to treat the infection. With early detection and proper treatment, the infection might be gone in just about a week or two. 

References:

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/9315757/

http://www.ijstr.org/final-print/jan2014/Chlamydia-Trachomatis-Prevalence-In-Ghana-A-Study-At-A-Municipal-District-In-Western-Ghana.pdf

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/9315757/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956315/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chlamydia/treatment/

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