Assessment of clinical knowledge and practices in the management of sexually transmitted infections in Johannesburg Metro

Sibanyoni, Jabhile Maria
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Introduction This study was conducted at selected Primary Health Care clinics in the Johannesburg Metro. The study explored the issues around Sexually Transmitted Infections by identifying gaps with regards to syndromic approach. Proper management and control of STI is crucial because STI lead to serious complications. Objectives To assess clinician knowledge and practices in the management of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) in the Johannesburg Metro District. Methods A descriptive (cross-sectional) study involving a retrospective review of 210 patient records of STI treatment and questionnaire-based interviews of 38 health care providers of STI services in 22 primary health care facilities in the Johannesburg Metro District. Data was collected to measure staff training on STI, provider knowledge of STI syndromic management, and provider adherence to STI syndromic management guidelines based on the District STI Quality of Care Assessment tool. Results Of the 38 providers that were interviewed, 29 (76%) were trained in STI management. Half of these had received their training in STI management > 4 years prior to this study. The proportion of providers who correctly stated STI syndromic management were 33 (87.0%) for penile discharge; 24 (63.0%) for vaginal discharge, 15 (39.0%) for genital ulcer and 14 (37.0%) for pregnancy with PVD. Of the 210 iii patient records reviewed, 148 (70.5%) had prescriptions that were adherent to STI guidelines. Conclusion Clinicians in the public health facilities do have adequate knowledge of syndromic management of STI. Poor adherence to the national guidelines for STI management calls for an ongoing and regular training in STI management in the Johannesburg Metro District.
MPH, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 2009
sexually transmitted diseases, management skills