Article Abstract

Eliminating mother-to-child transmission of syphilis: the need for more consistent political commitment

Authors: Dadong Wu, Sarah Hawkes


Wijesooriya and colleagues (1) recently reported an approximately 40% decrease in the global burden of both syphilis in pregnancy and syphilis-associated adverse pregnancy outcomes over the period from 2008 to 2012. The determinants of the welcome decrease are manifold, but chief among them are (I) the reduction in overall adult syphilis prevalence levels, and (II) some improvement in the coverage of interventions for screening and treatment of pregnant women. The findings of the report illustrate the importance of establishing and maintaining support for policies and programmes which are effective in controlling this preventable condition which, nonetheless, still afflicts hundreds of thousands of infants and their parents worldwide, as well as the importance of robust surveillance systems to monitor progress (or not) over time.