Cases of Buruli Ulcer High in Dormaa: Patients appealing for Government Support


Babianiha (B/R), March 18, 2024

A Diseases Control Officer at the Dormaa Central Municipality of the Bono region, Mr. Daniel Owusu-Amponsah said Buruli Ulcer has been endemic in the Dormaa Municipality.

He said suspected cases of Buruli ulcer and Lymphatic Filariasis diseases have been recorded in farming communities in the area since 2010. 

According to him, 8 were positive, out of 17 samples of Buruli ulcer taken through their routine public health activities in 2023 for testing.   

Mr. Owusu-Amponsah added besides Buruli ulcer, the municipality had also recorded three confirmed cases of leprosy with several cases of elephantiasis.

The public health officer advised families and the general public to avoid wrong perception about infected persons, saying Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs) are curable and not satanic diseases. 

He said it was untrue that the NTD’s were linked to satanism, and advised affected people from visiting prayer camps and shrines to seek a cure but instead report to the nearest health facilities for medical treatment.

He urged Ghanaians, particularly people in the Dormaa enclave to sleep under treated mosquito nets, revealing that Lymphatic Filariasis (elephantiasis) were cause by mosquitoes, and some cases of such situation have also been recorded in the area. 

Mr. Owusu-Amponsah was speaking to News last Thursday in an interview at Babianiha, in the Dormaa Central Municipality.

It was on the sidelines of capacity building and training held for NTDs infected persons identified in communities in Maasu and Babianiha areas of the Municipality.

The patients are infected with Buruli Ulcer, yaws, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) and leprosy, with others also suffering from psycho- social and mental health problems.

The MIHOSO International Foundation, and BasicNeed Ghana, (NGOs) organised the two-day training being benefited by a 21 member-group as part of an NTDs project both organisations are implementing in the Dormaa Municipality.

It aimed at enhancing the quality of life of vulnerable and affected people in the area, and being funded by the Anesvad Foundation.

The project was titled “Building Civil Society Coalition to Advocate an Integrated Approach to Control skin-NTD and Enhance the Quality of Life of Vulnerable and affected people in Ghana”.

The two-year project sought to contribute towards prevention, control and elimination of the NTDs infection, ameliorating the mental health and psychosocial impact of debilitating the disease and social stigma.

On behalf of the beneficiaries, Madam Yaa Nyamekye commended MIHOSO, the Ghana Health Services and their partners for the training support and appealed for government support to enhance their socio-economic livelihoods. 

She said they needed such assistance to go into viable economic activities to empower them to access medication and treatment, and also for the upkeep of themselves and their families. 

Madam Nyamekye expressed worries about public perception and stigmatization which she said making them feel neglected in the society. 

According to her, the public believed the skin-NTDs are linked or traced to witchcraft and wizardry and family curse and thereby making life uncomfortable for them. 

Madam Nyamekye said though the project implementation had supported some of the affected people to engage in economic activities, they needed more assistance from the government and other NGOs to make life better for them.

She called for intensified public education on the NTDs to help address the wrong misconception society had about the NTDs and to control the attendant high stigma and discrimination.

Mr Thomas Benarkuu, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer in-charge of Operations, MIHOSO, explained the project had already trained 10 community volunteers and 26 health workers who reached out and sensitized the communities.

He said the project implementation would contribute to progress towards the Universal Health Coverage and skin health for all as well as enhance health and wellbeing, eliminate discrimination and exclusion, deepen human rights, and improve participation and productivity.

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