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Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Launch Urgent Syphilis Response Effort

Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board and Federal Agencies to Join Effort


GPTLHB

Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board

 The Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe are uniting to combat a surge in syphilis cases across the Great Plains Region. From April 15 to 26, public health teams will conduct intensive contact tracing on the Pine Ridge, Rosebud, and Cheyenne River Reservations to curb this resurgent disease. These efforts stem from proactive measures by the tribes, in partnership with the Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center (a division of the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board), federal officials, and local tribal programs, to address rising syphilis rates. Led by experts from the Epidemiology Center, these teams will ensure medication availability and seek residents for treatments.

Recent data from the Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center shows a 1,865% surge in syphilis rates among American Indians and Alaska Natives in the region, surpassing national increases. Alarmingly, cases of congenital syphilis have risen, affecting 2.5% of all Native births in certain areas. Public health resources have struggled to match this crisis, with a nearly 19-fold increase in cases between 2020 and 2023. Nationwide, syphilis infections hit a 70-year high in 2022, coinciding with a penicillin shortage, leading to significant health complications and fatalities.

The Great Plains Tribal Leaders’ Health Board and leaders from several states have urged Federal Health Secretary Xavier Becerra to declare a public health emergency. Native Americans, particularly in rural areas, face challenges accessing prenatal care and syphilis testing due to limited services and cultural barriers, exacerbated by hospital closures.

Contact Information:
Brandon Ecoffey
Communications Director
[email protected]


Original Source: Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Launch Urgent Syphilis Response Effort
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