Severe neonatal chlamydial conjunctivitis with unilateral corneal perforation after unattended home delivery in rural Ethiopia

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Lorenzo Cirri *
Abel Hailu
Frank Riedel
(*) Corresponding Author:
Lorenzo Cirri | cirri.lorenzo@gmail.com

Abstract

Background. Neonatal chlamydial conjunctivitis is an easily preventable, though still highly prevalent infectious disease in low-income countries and if left untreated it is associated with major local and systemic complications that threat new-borns’ health.
Case presentation. We present two cases of severe neonatal chlamydial conjunctivitis with unilateral corneal involvement in new-born children, after unattended home deliveries in rural Ethiopia. Despite antibiotic treatment, in one case, surgical corneal repair was necessary in order to avoid excessive scarring and subsequent unilateral blindness of the child.
Conclusions. As the presence of an ophthalmologist in sub-Saharan Africa is very rare, many children in the same condition may become blind due to lack of trained surgeons. For these reasons, screening programmes for sexually transmitted infections in pregnant women with suspect vaginal discharge should be implemented by local authorities; as well as local prophylaxis with tetracyclin eye-ointment being made available in rural communities.

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