‘Early detection, prevention, and risk factors for Buruli Ulcer in the Atwima-Nwabiagya District, Ghana: the patient’s perspective.’

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Mycobacterium ulcerans is an environmental pathogen that is commonly associated water with and soil. In humans, M. ulcerans causes an ulcerative skin known as Buruli ulcer in Africa and Bairnsdale in southern Australia. Within the African sub-region, M. ulcerans is the third most common mycobacteriosis after Tuberculosis and Leprosy and principally affects remote rural African communities. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 200 Buruli ulcer patients in Atwima-Nwabiagya district of Ashanti region of Ghana. People of all socio-economic class and all age groups are affected. However, adults more than 40 years old are affected most with the disease. Again, the disease is associated with occupational status in buruli-endemic regions; thus farmers are mostly affected in buruli-endemic regions. Farmers were the most hard hit with the Buruli ulcer disease.. The factor to explain this phenomenon might be the fact that, farmers are more exposed to M. ulcerans virtue of their day to day farming activities. Working close to rivers and lakes are established to be one of the risk factors in buruli-endemic regions. Still further, farming and illiteracy posed as risk factors for the development of Buruli ulcer disease in buruli-endemic regions. General developmental improvements on the lives of people who dwell in deprived and remote areas of buruli ulcer endemic regions were tagged as some of the primary preventive measures. In conclusion, injuries, insects’ bites, nakedness and contaminated water were established to be some of the principal risk factors for Buruli ulcer in buruli-endemic regions.
A thesis presented to the School of Researach and Graduate Studies in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Msc.(Health Education and Promotion) degree.