Introduction Community prevalence data on RTI are sparse and it is believed to be high among low socio economic communities. This study was carried out to describe the epidemiological characteristics of selected RTI among the reproductive age women living in low socioeconomic communities within the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC).
Methodology A representative sample of seven hundred and seventy women was selected using a multistage sampling procedure from fifteen randomly selected Public Health Midwives (PHMM) areas from five Municipal Districts. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used to obtain data on socicodemographic factors, economic factors, and behavioural correlates. Clinical examination of women was carried out at the Primary HealthCare clinics (PHC) of the CMC. Biological specimens were collected for laboratory diagnosis.
Results Ninety-six per cent (96%) of women participated in the study. Endogenous infections and candidiasis were relatively common being (BV 8.6%, 95% CI 6.6 to 10.6, and 6.8 % 95% CI 5 to 8.6) respectively. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) were infrequent. GC -0%, CT 0.6% (95% CI 0.04 to 1.16), and TV 0.6% (95% CI 0.04 to 1.16). Of the symptom related correlates investigated, women's complaints of itching of vulva (p= 0.014, OR=3.198, 95% CI 1.260 to 8.114) and vaginal discharge (p=0.026, OR=2.611, 95% CI 1.121 to 6.083) were statistically significantly associated with candidiasis in univariate analysis. However, this finding was not statistically significant in the multivariate analysis.
Conclusion Unlike the common believe, this community based study demonstrated a low prevalence of RTI, among the urban slum dwellers in CMC.