Perceptions and Attitudes: The Challenge of Managing Buruli Ulcer Morbidity in Ghana

Perceptions and Attitudes: The Challenge of Managing Buruli Ulcer Morbidity in Ghana

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Author(s): Owusu-Sekyere, Opare-Asamoah Kwame, Joseph Kofi Nkuah

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897 1438 15-24 Volume 2 - Mar 2013


Although literature is replete on the possible causes of Buruli ulcer (BU), no one is sure where the bacterium lives in the environment. It is also a mystery how the mycobacterium enters the human body, though it is clear the bacterium is unable to do so by itself. Patients have therefore developed wrong perceptions and attitudes on the disease epidemiology and this has become a challenge to the management and intervention strategies put in place by health expects. The aim of this paper is therefore to highlight some of the wrong perceptions surrounding the disease and discuss some of the possible predisposing factors that affect its transmission and spread in the Amansie West District of Ghana. Using basically qualitative approach, the paper argues that managing the Buruli ulcer disease has been daunting because the strong local beliefs which also affects the choice of treatment by patients. The paper concludes that despite the wrong perception, the disease causing organism thrives well in arsenic rich aquatic environment. Any attempt to manage the disease therefore must first target the wrong perceptions and attitudes, in order to manage the reality.


Buruli ulcer, morbidity, myth, reality, Mycobacterium ulcerans


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