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In developing countries the mortality and morbidity due to reproductive tract infections/sexually transmitted infections (RTIs/STIs) are very high relative to those associated with other health problems. The consequences of RTIs which are numerous and potentially devastating include postabortal and puerperal sepsis, ectopic pregnancy, fetal and perinatal death, cervical cancer, infertility, chronic physical pain, emotional distress, and social rejection in women. The impact of RTIs on the transmission of HIV infection and the morbidity and mortality of HIV adds substantially to the total health impact of RTIs.
This study has been conducted in an urban slum in the vicinity of Maulana Azad Medical College, of New Delhi, India, during August 1996 to November 2000. The slum settings are characterised by a migratory population living under overcrowded and stressful conditions, where loosened traditional and social constraints, a range of sociocultural factors, and economic compulsions limit access to health care and social support services, thereby providing an environment conducive to acquiring and transmitting RTIs/STIs.
The slum area comprised 826 hutments with a total population of 3676. The area had adverse sex ratio, 635 females per 1000 males and there were 500 (13.6%) single men. The majority of residents were migrants from the neighbouring states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
The present study was conducted with the objective of assessing the prevalence of various RTIs among married women in the urban slum setting using peripheral (field level) and confirmatory laboratory tests.
PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS
The study population consisted of all 446 ever married women aged 15–45 years residing in the area. It was decided to include all women in the study to fulfil the obligation of not denying diagnosis and treatment to any.
To enrol the eligible subjects, a demographic survey was conducted which included a house to house survey. A quantitative reproductive health schedule (RHS) developed …