E.S Kolade



An increasing number of babies with conjunctivitis in our center what require an urgent evaluation was observed. To evaluate Chlamydial aetiology of Neonatal conjunctivitis in our environment all babies born in the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital over a six months period were prospectively screened for Neonatal conjunctivitis using the Center for Disease Control/World Health Organization case definition for Neonatal conjunctivitis. All patients diagnosed to have Neonatal conjunctivitis had laboratory evaluation done to identify the causes. However only those from whom the inclusion bodies of chlamydia were seen got included in this study. An empirical treatment with 10% sodium sulphacetamide eye drops was given to all patients while other additional illnesses identified were managed in a standard way. Clinical re-evaluation was done by 72 hours and 7 days of treatment for clinical cure.
A total number of 112 babies developed neonatal conjunctivitis within the study period among the 852 babies screened and chlamydia was seen in 36 (32%). The hospital based incidence for Chlamydial neonatal conjunctivitis was 42 per thousand live births. There was a male preponderance. Gestational Age ranged between 27 weeks and 44 weeks though there were more term babies. Majority were delivered by spontaneous vertex. The Mean Age of on-set of disease was 5 days with a standard deviation of 3.8 days. Premature rupture of fetal membrane occurred in 1 (3%) case. Fifteen (42%) of 36 mothers had antenatal vaginal discharge. All mothers were married. Purulent eye discharge was the commonest clinical presentation and was sometimes unilateral. All babies responded well to treatment. No complication was observed in any baby. It was concluded that chlamydia trachomatis was the leading cause of neonatal conjunctivitis in our environment and the disease is of a remarkable magnitude requiring attention in our sub region. It has similar outlook with those reported from other regions of the World.

(Af. J. of Clinical and Experimental Microbiology: 2002 3(2): 69-71)