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Journal of Diseases

June 2019, Volume 6, 2, pp 54-60

A Retrospective Assessment of Syphilis Seroprevalence among Pregnant Women, Cape Coast, Ghana

Ato Kwamena Tetteh


Sadick Arthur


Prince Bram


Charles Baffe


Godsway Aglagoh


Gifty Rhodalyn Tetteh


Edward Agyarko

Ato Kwamena Tetteh 1 ,

Sadick Arthur 1 Prince Bram 1 Charles Baffe 1 Godsway Aglagoh 1 Gifty Rhodalyn Tetteh 6
Edward Agyarko 7

  1. Metropolitan Hospital, Laboratory Department, Cape Coast, CR, Ghana. 1

  2. Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, CR, Ghana. 6

  3. Anglican University College of Technology, Department of Community Medicine and Health, Nkoranza, BA, Ghana. 7

Pages: 54-60

DOI: 10.18488/journal.99.2019.62.54.60

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Article History:

Received: 19 March, 2019
Revised: 26 April, 2019
Accepted: 31 May, 2019
Published: 29 August, 2019


This is a hospital-based cohort study, which aimed at assessing the seroprevalence of syphilis among pregnant women who sought antenatal care at the Cape Coast Metropolitan Hospital (CCMH). We retrospectively analyzed secondary data of 2,640 term pregnant women, who gave birth from January, 2016 to December, 2018. Data was compiled from the CCMH delivery register. Out of the 2,640 pregnant women who delivered from 2016 through 2018, 107 [4.1%, 95% CI: 3.3 – 4.8] tested reactive (2016, 1.5%, 40/2640; 2017, 1.0%, 26/2640; 2018, 1.6%, 41/2640). Seroprevalence among the primagravida (those with first pregnancy) was 0.8%, while that among the multigravida (? 2 pregnancies) was 3.3% (?2 = 37.562, p = 0.021). Pregnant women within the age group of 22-31 years were the most reactive, 2.3% (60/2640), followed by 32-41 years, 1.1% (30/2640). A prevalence of 1.9% (50/2640) was recorded among Junior High School holders, while 0.2% (5/2640) was found among those who have attained tertiary level education. A Relatively high prevalence of 3.0% (78/2640) was recorded among informal workers compared to the unemployed, 0.9% (23/2640). An appreciable proportion of 18.9% (499/2640) had no syphilis testing record indicated in the register. Early detection of syphilis and treatment of infected partners, rapid testing for ANC non-attendants at the maternity/obstetrics and gynecology departments is highly recommended either before or after delivery, as laboratory services may not be available in the nights when most deliveries occur.
Contribution/ Originality
This study contributes to existing information, a three year socio-demographic trend of syphilis infection among pregnant women along coastal communities. It also reports for the first time, syphilis prevalence among women with different gravidity in Cape Coast, Ghana.


Pregnant women, Syphilis testing, Congenital syphilis, Seroprevalence, Gravidity, Antenatal care.



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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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