Syphilis infection is an important public health problem across the globe, especially in developing countries. In Ethiopia, study findings on the prevalence of syphilis among Ethiopian population are highly dispersed indifferent geographic region and time. The aim of the current review is to conduct revised information about syphilis in Ethiopia. Databases including MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, HINARI and reference lists of previous prevalence studies were systematically searched for relevant literature from January 1999 to November 2018. Results were presented in a forest plot, tables and figures with 95% confidence interval (CI). The analysis was done using STATA 14 statistical software. The Cochrane Q test and I2 test statistic were used to test heterogeneity across studies. Random effects meta-analysis model was computed to estimate the pooled prevalence of syphilis since the included studies exhibit high heterogeneity. Results: A total of 24 studies reporting the prevalence of syphilis were included in meta-analysis. A high level of heterogeneity was observed across studies (I2=95.4%, p=0.000). The pooled prevalence of syphilis in Ethiopia was 1.35% (95%CI: 1.07-1.64). HIV patients, pregnant women and blood donors had a syphilis prevalence of 9.46% (95%CI; 6.52-12.4), 1.74% (95%CI; 0.96-2.52), and 0.69% (95%CI; 0.42-0.97), respectively. This review showed a high prevalence of syphilis in Ethiopia compared to the developed world and some Asian and African countries. The evidence suggests strengthening screening program during blood screening and pregnancy as part of the care package during antenatal care visits. Programs focusing on primary prevention of syphilis and HIV infection in should also be strengthened.
Keywords: Systematic review, Meta-analysis, Prevalence, Syphilis, Ethiopia