Rapid systematic review of interventions to improve antenatal screening rates for syphilis, hepatitis B, and HIV in low- and middle-income countries


Background: Infectious diseases including syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B are major contributors to maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The World Health Organization has prioritized elimination of vertical transmission of these three diseases.

Objectives: To rapidly assess the impact of interventions designed to improve antenatal screening rates for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B in LMICs and to identify areas for future implementation research.

Search strategy: A comprehensive search was conducted across PubMed, Embase, and EconLit, targeting articles published between January 1, 2013, and June 27, 2023.

Selection criteria: We included quantitative interventional studies in English, involving pregnant adults (15 years or older) from LMICs. Exclusions were studies based in high-income countries, qualitative studies, or those investigating accuracy of diagnostic methods.

Data collection and analysis: From an initial 5549 potential studies, 27 were finalized for review after various screening stages. Data extraction covered aspects such as study design, intervention details, and outcomes. Findings were qualitatively synthesized within a systems thinking framework.

Main results: The interventions assessed varied in terms of geographic locations, health care system levels, and modalities. The review highlighted the effectiveness of interventions such as community health interventions, service quality improvements, and financial incentives.

Conclusions: The study underscores the potential of specific interventions in enhancing antenatal screening rates in LMICs. However, there is a discernible research gap concerning hepatitis B. The findings emphasize the importance of capacity building and health systems strengthening in public health interventions.


Harrison J, Lind P, Sawleshwarkar S, Pasupathy D, Yapa HM




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • General HIV- population
  • Testing
    • Testing
  • Co-infections
    • Hepatitis B, C
    • Syphilis
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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