Global health sector strategy on sexually transmitted infections 2016–2021: implementation framework for the African Region
Abstract1. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are a highly endemic public health challenge in the African Region and worldwide. At global level, it is estimated that each year there are 357 million new cases of the four major curable STIs among people aged 15–49 years: chlamydia infection (131 million), gonorrhoea (78 million), syphilis (6 million) and trichomoniasis (142 million). The prevalence of some viral STIs is similarly high, with an estimated 417 million people infected with herpes simplex type 2, and approximately 291 million women harbouring the human papillomavirus (HPV). The African Region is particularly affected with a high prevalence of these infections. The total number of new cases for these four curable STIs in the Region was estimated at 63 million in 2012, representing 18% of the global incidence. 2. These STIs have a profound impact on the health and lives of the population worldwide. This includes the high risk of fetal and neonatal morbidity and deaths due to syphilis in pregnancy; the risk of cervical cancer due to HPV infection; the risk of infertility mainly due to gonorrhoea and chlamydia infection, as well as the facilitation of sexual transmission of HIV. 3. In order to adequately respond to this high burden of disease and in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, WHO has developed a global health sector strategy on STIs, 2016–2021. The proposed strategy is based on achievements and lessons learnt from the previous global strategy, which covered the period 2006–2015. The development of the strategy followed a broad consultative process involving Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other key partners such as donor and development agencies, civil society, nongovernmental organizations, scientific and technical institutions and networks, and the private sector. 4. he goal of the strategy is to end STI epidemics as major public health concerns. The strategy defines a set of priority actions to be undertaken by Member States, which are organized under five strategic directions, namely information for focused action, interventions for impact, delivering for equity, financing for sustainability and innovation for acceleration of the response. 5. The proposed regional implementation framework provides programmatic and policy guidance to Member States to facilitate implementation of the global strategy. It describes actions and roles that Member States and partners should take to fast-track STI prevention and treatment interventions in the African Region towards ending the STI epidemic. The actions proposed include prioritizing STI prevention, expanding STI testing services using diversified approaches and scaling up treatment by adopting innovative service delivery models. 6. The Regional Committee examined and adopted the proposed implementation framework.
Regional Committee for Africa, 67. (2017). Global health sector strategy on sexually transmitted infections 2016–2021: implementation framework for the African Region. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Africa. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/260232
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