Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (S.T.I) passed on from one person to another.
In the past, Gonorrhea was a major problem but due to great campaigns from the Ministry of Health, its prevalence declined in the society. Early diagnosis and prevention through proper reproductive methods has greatly contributed towards successfully combating the notorious infectious disease.
Progress is seen in the change of behavior amongst the partners. Previously people used to contract this disease as a result of having multiple sexual partners, but the decline in the number of infected people recorded in hospitals manifests a good progress in the fight against the disease.
The Gynecology department of Butare University Teaching Hospital (CHUB) that gets most of referred patients from rural health centers used to record at least five patients suffering from Gonorrhea every month. Today, the hospital does not record any of such cases in one or two months.
Adolescents, young adults, drug users and multiple sexually active partners are a group of people who are always at high risk of catching the infection. Gonorrhea is caused by the Neisseria Gonorrhoea bacteria.
Scientific research carried out by World Health Organization shows that men have a 20 percent chance of getting infected from a woman while on the other hand, women have a 50 percent chance of getting infected from a man.
Also an infected mother may transmit gonorrhea to her newborn during childbirth. Usually, newly born babies, will suffer from irritation of the mucous membranes in the eyes if Gonorrhea is not treated in time. This can cause blindness in children.
Symptoms vary depending on an individual gender. For women; Gonorrhea may cause pelvic inflammatory disease a serious medical condition that can lead to infertility, infection and irritation of the cervix. Infected women also feel the need to urinate often, experience itching and burning in the vagina.
These symptoms can also be noticed in children who are possible victims of defilement or incest. More still, abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods is another challenging symptom in women. For men, pain and burning during urination is most common due to inflammation and infection of ducts in the testicles and the prostate.
Gonococcal throat infection should be considered in people who complain of sore throat and are showing other signs of the disease.
Throat infections from gonorrhea are transmitted through oral sex but may occur without any other symptoms. Rectal pain and rectal discharge can be a sign of infection of the prostate and is transmitted through anal intercourse.
Other alarming signs of the disease include; fever, abdominal pain, discharge from reproductive organs and joint pain. Complications resulting from of Gonorrhea include; meningitis an inflammation of the brain and endocarditis an infection of the heart.
Previously antibiotics known as the fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin was widely used in the treatment of gonorrheal infection. Due to increasing resistance of many tested samples to the fluoroquinolone drugs, today the cephalosporins are used to treat gonorrheal infections.
The doctor may prescribe a single dose injection of an antibiotic such as ceftriaxone.
Using latex condoms during sexual intercourse, avoid sexual contact with high risk partners, remaining faithful to one partner and treat infected sexual partners or have them tested before having sexual relations.
Other sexually transmitted diseases include syphilis, Chlamydia, and HIV/Aids.