December 20 2019
A range of services providing counselling and other support services to specific groups in Rural & Remote communities
Posted November 23, 2023
NSW Health has recently introduced a second universal antenatal syphilis screen at 26-28 weeks gestation and additional screening for women at high-risk of syphilis in pregnancy. This is in response to concerning increases in maternal and congenital syphilis diagnosed in NSW.
Syphilis in pregnancy is associated with preterm birth, low birth weight, congenital anomalies, fetal loss or stillbirth, and neonatal death. Congenital syphilis is an entirely preventable disease, and its occurrence reflects a failure of delivery systems for antenatal care and syphilis control programs.
Additionally, GPs who engage with pregnant women are encouraged to screen opportunistically regardless of gestation where a pregnant woman has had limited or no antenatal care.
NSW Sexual Health Clinics and the NSW Sexual Health Infolink are your source of advice and referral information. You can call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink during business hours on 1800 451 624. GPs will be offered active assistance with case management from their local sexual health clinic after the notification is referred to them in specific cases.
An online training has been developed NSW Introduction to Syphilis for Midwives and Clinicians Providing Antenatal Care to assist GPs identify priority populations for antenatal syphilis testing, learn about syphilis care and management including more complex clinical scenarios, and contact tracing after a syphilis diagnosis.
More information can be found via the Policy Directive Syphilis in Pregnancy and Newborns (PD2023_029). This Policy Directive establishes the minimum requirements for NSW Health services and outlines the roles and responsibilities of clinicians and NSW Health staff when screening and managing syphilis in pregnancy and managing neonates at risk of congenital syphilis.
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