Barriers to scaling-up prevention of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis

Helpdesk Query:

Produce a report identifying the (medical, health service, economic, social and policy) barriers to the scale up of the prevention of mother to child transmission of syphilis among pregnant women in low-income countries.


The value of syphilis testing in early pregnancy has been gaining recognition in recent years. Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of the disease is estimated to be responsible for between 2-4% of all neonatal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study. This makes a clear case for strengthening the prevention of MTCT (PMTCT) and addressing the barriers to scale-up. The rapid search for this report identified studies which assessed experience in Zambia of moving from a pilot PMTCT programme to scaling-up. Reviews of experience with different scale projects in different countries are also included as relevant to consideration of barriers to scaling-up.

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