Sexual and reproductive health

The global elimination of congenital syphilis: rationale and strategy for action

World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research

Front cover

Publication details

Number of pages: 48
Publication date: 2007
Languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
ISBN: 978 92 4 159585 8


Syphilis remains a global problem with an estimated 12 million people infected each year, despite the existence of effective prevention measures, such as condoms, and effective and relatively inexpensive treatment options.

The overarching global goal of the present strategy is the elimination of congenital syphilis as a public health problem. This would be achieved through reduction of prevalence of syphilis in pregnant women and by the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis. The strategy rests on four pillars: (i) ensure sustained political commitment and advocacy; (ii) increase access to, and quality of, maternal and newborn health services; (iii) screen and treat pregnant women and their partners; and (iv) establish surveillance, monitoring and evaluation systems.

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