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Chlamydia report alarming - Labour asleep

Jackie Blue MP
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

Nicky Wagner MP National Party Youth Affairs Spokeswoman

19 May 2008

Chlamydia report alarming - Labour asleep at the wheel

A recent review of sexually transmitted diseases in 2007* should jolt Labour out of its complacency and into action, says National's Associate Health spokeswoman, Jackie Blue, and the party's Youth Affairs spokeswoman, Nicky Wagner.

"Chlamydia cases have been steadily increasing over the past four years. The number of cases being treated at sexual health clinics is up by almost 20%," say the MPs.

The vast majority of those diagnosed with chlamydia were under the age of 25.

"What's really worrying is that a significant number of men and women have no symptoms of chlamydia, and if it is left untreated it can cause considerable ill-health and infertility, denying people the opportunity to become parents."

Dr Blue says it's also alarming that laboratories reported 151 cases where children under one year of age were diagnosed with chlamydia.

"Presumably most, if not all of those children, would have been infected at birth.

"What's also concerning is that this report almost certainly under-estimates the extent of the problem. For example, the report does not include information from primary care.

"All we know is that we have a problem, it seems to be getting worse, and that it has potentially devastating consequences, particularly for our young people.

"The good news is, however, that these infections are eminently preventable and treatable. The bad news is the public health messages just don't seem to be getting through. And that's Labour's fault."


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