Adherence to national guidelines in the syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections in Botswana’s primary health care Boonstra E 1 , Lindb æ k M 1 , Klouman E 1 , Ngome E 2 , Romøren M 1 , Sundby J 1 1 Department of General Practice and Community
Adherence to national guidelines in the syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections in Botswana’s primary health care
Boonstra E1, Lindbæk M1, Klouman E1, Ngome E2,Romøren M1, Sundby J1
1 Department of General Practice and Community
Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway
2Health Research Unit, Ministry of Health, Gaborone,
Publ. in: In Tropical Medicine and International Health 2003,Vol 8:604-14.
Abstract Adherence to National Guidelines on Syndromic Management of Sexually Transmitted Infections in Botswana’s Primary health care
Design: Cross-sectional prospective field survey
Sampling: This is a substudy of a prospective Drug utilization study (N=2294 encounters), which includes 224 consecutive encounters of patients with a STI. The sampling method of the Drug study was multistage: in each of 3 purposely chosen health districts - each representing an urban, semi-urban, and rural setting - 10 primary healthcare facilities were randomly selected. The number of encounters in each health facility was relative to the number of outpatients in 1996.
Outcome Measures: Proportion of consultations meeting set criteria for acceptable history taking, physical examination and appropriate treatment; percentage of consultations with advice on partner notification and counseling on the use of condoms; availability of antibiotics, STI algorithms, condoms and essential equipment by health facility.
Results: In women (n=135), the criteria for acceptable history taking were met in 34(25%), and for physical examination in 31(23%); and in men (n=89), in 48(54%) and 51(57%) respectively. Appropriate treatment was given to 73(65%) of the women (n=112) and to 56(81%) of the men (n=69). Underprescription was found in 38(21%), overprescription in 12(7%), and incorrect prescription in 2(1%) of all consultations (n=181). Advice on partner notification was provided to 79(66%) of the women (n=120) and 71(86%) of the men (n=83). Counseling on the use of condoms was provided to 90(75%) of the women and 74(89%) of the men. In half of the health facilities, the lack of a fixed light source was the main constraint in carrying out a vaginal speculum examination. In all health facilities essential antibiotics and condoms were available. In 40% of the health facilities all STI algorithms were displayed in the consultation room.
Conclusions:Adherence to national guidelines on diagnostic management of STIs was relatively poor, especially in women with STIs. One-third of the women and one-fifth of the men did not receive appropriate treatment for their STI, in spite of excellent availability of drugs. Nurses perform well on partner notification and counseling. Emphasis should be given to training of nurses in clinical examinations, particularly pelvic examinations.
Syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is not ideal, and the weakness of the health services in many developing countries is a major drawback to achieving high coverage of STIs with efficacious treatment.
Design and sampling
This is a substudy of a cross-sectional prospective Drug utilization study (N=2294 consecutive encounters), which includes 224 encounters of patients with a STI.
The sampling method of the Drug study was multistage: in each of 3 purposely chosen health districts - each representing an urban, semi-urban, and rural setting - 10 primary healthcare facilities were randomly selected. The number of encounters in each health facility was relative to the number of outpatients in 1996. The survey was carried out June-November 1998 by two nurses and a pharmacy technician.
To evaluate health worker’s adherence to national guidelines on syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections.
- the quality of history taking and physical
- the appropriateness of treatment
- the provision of advice on partner
notification and counseling on the use
- the availability of essential antibiotics,
equipment and STI-algorithms
Methods 1 - Outcome measures
1. Diagnosis:proportion of consultations meeting criteria for acceptable history taking and physical examination.
- Appropriate: % of consultations with full adherence to national guidelines.
a) % unnecessary/wrong antibiotics prescribed
b) % recommended antibiotics not prescribed
c) % dose/duration of prescription incorrect
3. Partner notification and counseling on condom use: % of consultations with partner notification and counseling on use of condoms.
4. Availability of antibiotics, STI-algorithms and equipment: % of facilities with excellent, fair or poor availability of antibiotics, STI algorithms and equipment.
Abnormal vaginal discharge and/or genital ulcer and/or lower abdominal pain
Pregnancy and/or missed period and/or recent delivery/abortion
Recent partner change
Recent partner change
Vaginal speculum examination
Physical examination of the affectedsite
Number of consultations:N= 2241
Gaborone (10 Cl2) 102 Kgalagadi (2 Cl2, 8 Hp3) 60 Ngami (2 Cl2, 8 Hp3) 62
By health facilility:
Clinics (n=14) 167
Health posts (n=16) 57
Gender: males 40%, females 60%
Mean age: 30 years
Staff: Nurses 86%
Enrolled nurse 13%
Family Welfare Educators 1%
1Sexually transmitted infections comprised 7.5% of the
total number of consultations (Botswana as a whole
6.5%); 2 Clinics; 3 Health post
Vaginal discharge syndrome66 (49)
Lower abdominal pain35 (26)
Genital ulcer syndrome 11 (8)
Other 23 (17)
Urethral discharge syndrome32 (36)
Genital ulcer syndrome 36 (42)
Inguinal bubo 2 (2)
Other 19 (21)
n% n% p History taking: 34 (25)48 (54) 0.005
Examination:31 (23) 51 (57) 0.003
Both 14 (10) 22 (25) 0.02
STD diagnosis group n(%) n%)
Vaginal discharge syndrome (n=66) 43 (65) 23 (35)
Lower abdominal pain (n=35)23 (66) 12 (34)
Genital ulcer syndrome (n=11) 7 (64) 4 (57)Subtotal (n=112)73 (65)39 (35)
Urethral discharge syndrome (n=32) 29 (91) 3 (9)
Genital ulcer syndrome (n=35) 25 (71) 10 (29)
Inguinal bubo(n=2) 2 (100) 0Subtotal (n=69)56 (81) 13 (19)
Total (n=181) 129 (71)52 (29)
1.All essential antibiotics for treatment of STIs at clinics and health posts were in stock
2.Supplies of condoms were adequate at all facilities
3. All 5 STI-algorithms were displayed in 40% of the facilities; in 50% none were displayed
4. 50% of the facilities lacked a fixed light source, which made vaginal speculum examination difficult or impossible
5. In 9 of 14 clinics and 2 of 16 health posts a gynaecological examination couch was available. In 29 of 30 health facilities an ordinary examination couch was available.
The loss of STI patients to the health care system
Individuals with STIs in the population
Seek health care:n(Fem)=135;nMale)=89
Adequate history: Fem=25%; Male=54%
Adequate exam.: Fem=23%; Male=57%
Correct treatment: Fem=65%; Male=81%
STI identified and correct treatment prescribed
Partner notified:( F 66%, M 86%), but treated ?
% compliant with drug regimen
% cured STI patients