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How wrong gonorrhoea diagnosis almost wrecked a marriage

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“Me? Gonorrhoea? I’m sorry but this has to be a mistake. You don’t even know me; I’m a virgin and married (Married virgin?). You didn’t even conduct a test and you say I have gonorrhoea,” she queried the pharmacist.

In her strength, she went straight back home with fury and her husband is next. “You directed me to a pharmacist and he said I have gonorrhoea.” The husband couldn’t hold the laughter and it got her even angrier. “What’s wrong with you? How is that ever a joke? You know how you married me and you also know nothing has changed… wait, you? Have you been…?”

The joke is now on the husband and for the first time, he isn’t finding it funny.

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“How could you ever think I’ve been having an affair? I’m not having this conversation with you, now let’s go to the family doctor,” the husband said.

After few questions from the doctor to the woman, he was sure it was nothing serious and in their (doctor) usual domineering manner, he said: “Nothing serious madam, it’s just an infection; you’ll be just fine in a matter of days.”

The couple looked into each other’s eyes, in silence and utmost rapt attention they listened to the doctor’s prescription and indeed, in a matter of days, she was just fine.

And that was how they both survived an untimely, looming disaster, I mean what God has joined together would have been put asunder by diagnosis gone wrong!

Apparently, many signs and symptoms of different diseases mimic themselves and if proper, adequate care isn’t taken, there might be a wrong treatment and prescription for the wrong ailment.

Out of curiosity, Saturday Tribune, in an attempt to unravel what went wrong with the couple as with many others, spoke with Dr Sanmi Ajele, Medical Director, Santhos Hospital, Challenge, Ibadan.

Dr Ajele described gonorrhoea to be a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) causes by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can affect both man and woman.

“In men, symptoms could be white, yellow, or green urethral discharge, resembling pus, pain in the testicles or scrotum, painful or frequent urination, anal discharge, itching, pain, bleeding, or pain when passing stools.

“Others are itching, difficulty swallowing, or swollen neck lymph nodes, eye pain, light sensitivity, or eye discharge resembling pus, red, swollen, warm, painful joints.

“In women, symptoms could be painful sexual intercourse, fever, yellow or green vaginal discharge, vulvar swelling, bleeding in-between periods, heavier periods, bleeding after intercourse, vomiting and abdominal or pelvic pain, painful or frequent urination.

“Others are anal discharge, itching, pain, bleeding, or pain with passing bowel movements, sore throat, itching, difficulty swallowing, or swollen neck lymph nodes, eye pain, light sensitivity, and eye discharge resembling pus, red, swollen, warm, and painful joints.”

Studies show that about 1.5 million cases of gonorrhoea are recorded every year from age zero to over 60 years.

Dr Ajele inputted that before an expert can rightly say a patient is infected with gonorrhoea, there must be a right diagnosis and a laboratory test.

Using malaria as an example, it is common knowledge that the majority don’t take any laboratory test before knowing they have malaria and going for malaria treatment.

Dr Ajele interjected that that experts treat malaria without a confirmation from the laboratory doesn’t make it right. “Anybody can say it is malaria, without a proper test, but you have to be able to identify a malaria parasite, many conditions will appear like malaria, the symptoms are similar, but to make malaria diagnosis, you must be able to identify the parasite in the bloodstream and that can be done with proper laboratory procedures.”

“About the couple you mentioned, there are some Urinary Tract Infections that have symptoms that could be mistaken for STDs, but a clear distinction is, unlike UTIs, gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease, again, that is why you must conduct a laboratory test and proper diagnosis.

“The treatment of gonorrhoea starts with understanding the history of the patient and specific drugs should be administered. The partner should also be tested and potentially treated to prevent transfer.”

That wasn’t the end of that story; some three weeks after the false alarm raised by the pharmacist, the couple suddenly discovered that the bright, always busy pharmacy has been shut down by the authority with a seal. The reason is not known, but your guess is as good as mine on this one.

The post How wrong gonorrhoea diagnosis almost wrecked a marriage appeared first on Tribune.

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