Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), other than HIV, constitute a major public health problem worldwide. Cognizant of these facts, the National HIV/AIDS Policy of Ethiopia identifies STI prevention and control as one of the strategies to prevent and control HIV/AIDS. Nationally there is still considerable underreporting of STI cases.
In order to fill the critical information gap on STIs, EPHI has established a national STI surveillance system using selected sentinel sites. The surveillance system will consider all the WHO-recommended components of STI surveillance. In the national HMIS, data on STIs is captured at the outpatient department of the health facilities. This STI case surveillance captures additional information on selected demographic and behavioural variables and the HIV status of the STI patient, in addition to the information currently generated using the routine HMIS system, to provide relevant information for the STI/HIV program planning and evaluation. The STI Sentinel sites have been selected by the Regional Health Bureaus in consultation with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute.
The high HIV prevalence among STI patients also calls for a concerted effort between the two programs to reduce the burden of HIV among STI patients and vice versa. This surveillance report shows, that there is still a need for strengthening an effective response to the spread of sexually transmitted infections by scaling up the intervention strategies and understanding the transmission dynamics.