OVER 180 000 STI CASES RECORDED
17 May 2017
ZIMBABWE recorded over 180 000 sexually transmitted infection cases in 2016 at a time when a total of 105 million condoms were distributed countrywide.
The cases were reported amid revelations that some strains of the sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were resisting available antibiotics w
According to a National Annual 2016 Core Output Indicator Report, 181 154 STI cases were recorded between January and December 2016.
While there has been a decline of cases from 2013 to 2016, health officials argue that the fact that STI infections were still being recorded in the country, this was an indicator that risky behaviour was still rampant.
“STIs are a sign that people are having unprotected sex so as long as we are still having such cases being recorded, we are not there yet. We need to reach to a stage where STI cases are eliminated through treating the available cases, contact tracing and having all cases reported and treated.
“The country last year witnessed more than 180 000 STI cases and of note we4 have had cases that are resisting treatment and this is posing as a challenge,” National AIDS Council’s Monitoring and Evaluation director, Amon Mpofu.
Harare, Masvingo and Manicaland provinces recorded the highest cases while alarming statistics in children between the ages between 0-14 years were also recorded.
According to the report, Harare constituted 31 657 of the total cases, Masvingo constituted 32 137 and Manicaland had 23 350 cases.
Mpofu argues that the STI cases recorded in children could be a result of sexual abuse while some children could have been born with the STIs. 622 STI cases were found in children between the 0-4 age group, 1 085 in the 5-9 ages while the 10-14 age group had 3 193 cases recorded in 2016.
“As you know cases of abuse among that age group are rampant hence the reason we are having STI cases in children. We also have cases of children who are born with STIs because some of the infections can be dormant for up to five years.
“But as a country we are really concerned that we have such high cases of STIs let alone in children. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done or else we risk reversing all the gains that have been made in reducing the HIV prevalence since 1999,” added Mpofu.
“It is not a good indicator to see STI cases increasing. It shows that we are sitting on a time-bomb of which we will expect to see an increase in new cases of HIV.”
Zimbabwe is one of the few African countries that have scored successes in the fight against the HIV and Aids pandemic on the back of the innovative Aids Levy.
This success, however, can easily be reversed if the surge in STI cases continues