Territory Stories

The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin



The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin

Other title

Disease Control Bulletin


Territory Health Services, Centre for Disease Control


Northern Territory disease control bulletin; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Northern Territory disease control bulletin






Date:2002-03; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Communicable diseases; Reporting; Northern Territory; Statistics; Periodicals

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Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



Northern Territory disease control bulletin


v. 9 no. 1

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin Vol 9, No.1, March 2002 13 Report on STIs in the NT: A Refresher Course Simon Morgan, General Practice Education and Research Unit, NTU On Saturday March 2nd 2002, the AIDS/STD Unit, in collaboration with the Top End Division of General Practice (TEDGP), ran an educational event entitled STIs in the NT: A Refresher Course. The program was directed by the results of a Top End GP survey on STI knowledge and practices conducted in 1999, as well as the findings of the STI/HIV remote strategy development process. The course was attended by 26 people (20 GPs or GP registrars) and was reported by all participants as meeting their learning needs to a high level. This brief report discusses the development, attendance and evaluation of this successful educational event. Introduction Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) remain a significant clinical and public health problem in Australia, with serious potential health consequences, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), tubal pregnancy and other adverse pregnancy outcomes. The Northern Territory (NT) continues to have disproportionately high rates of STIs compared with other states.1 The epidemiology of disease is unique, as are many local approaches to diagnosis and management. As a result, primary health care providers in all settings in the NT, particularly general practitioners, need to be competent in the clinical care and community approach to STIs. A survey conducted on GP knowledge and practices in relation to STIs in the NT (1999) revealed a number of areas where STI management could be improved, including comprehensive STI testing, screening for antenates, syndromic treatment and awareness of local epidemiology.2 As well, a recent situation analysis3 of the practices of THS Darwin remote clinics documented a number of areas where STI management could be improved. The 1999 GP survey was also specifically designed to act as a needs assessment tool for a future educational event on STIs. The enthusiasm for this was great, with 95% of respondents stating that they would be interested in attending such an event. STIs in the NT: A Refresher Course was therefore developed from these findings and as a result of the considerable interest expressed by Top End GPs. Program The program was developed by the four presenters of the course, and was directed by the documented local deficiencies in knowledge and practice, as well as current best practice or new information in STI management. The program (see Appendix, page 15) was designed to give an initial overview of the unique epidemiology of STIs in the NT, and to then address the population health aspects of STIs and their implications for clinical care and program development. Subsequent sessions included brief snippets of diagnostic and therapeutic updates, common clinical STI scenarios, and the traditionally challenging area of syphilis serology interpretation. The sessions were designed to appeal to both urban and rural/remote practitioners, covering a range of issues of importance to both groups. It aimed to confirm existing knowledge as well as impart new knowledge or best practice, without becoming too overwhelming to participants. A package of references was developed for participants to read at the course. As well, all presenters developed a list of take home messages to accompany their sessions, key concepts or information that were collated into a handout for participants. Continuing Medical Education (CME) point application was sought and gained through the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. To meet CME point requirements, learning objectives (see page 16) were developed, and the session formally evaluated at its conclusion as to its educational worth. Attendance The course was attended by 26 people (see Table) with 20 (77%) being either GPs (16) or GP registrars (4). Two other doctors attended, an A&E registrar and a DMO. The other