Community-based study on knowledge, attitude and practice on the mode of transmission, prevention and treatment of the Buruli ulcer in Ga West District, Ghana

Renzaho, Andre, Woods, Paul, Ackumey, Mercy, Harvey, Simon and Kotin, Jacob 2007, Community-based study on knowledge, attitude and practice on the mode of transmission, prevention and treatment of the Buruli ulcer in Ga West District, Ghana, Tropical medicine and international health, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 445-458.

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Title Community-based study on knowledge, attitude and practice on the mode of transmission, prevention and treatment of the Buruli ulcer in Ga West District, Ghana
Author(s) Renzaho, Andre
Woods, Paul
Ackumey, Mercy
Harvey, Simon
Kotin, Jacob
Journal name Tropical medicine and international health
Volume number 12
Issue number 3
Start page 445
End page 458
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2007-03
ISSN 1360-2276
1365-3156
Keyword(s) Buruli ulcer
Mycobacterium ulcerans
treatment
witchcraft
Summary Buruli ulcer disease (BUD), a devastating tropical disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, occurs in more than 80% of the administrative districts of Ghana. To elucidate community perceptions and
understanding of the aetiology of BUD, attitudes towards Buruli patients and treatment-seeking behaviours, we conducted a survey with 504 heads of households and seven focus group discussions in Ga West District, Ghana. Although 67% of participants regarded BUD as a health problem, 53% did not know its cause. Sixteen per cent attributed the cause to drinking non-potable water, 8.1% mentioned poor personal hygiene or dirty surroundings, and 5.5% identified swimming or wading in ponds as a risk factor. About 5.2% thought that witchcraft and curses cause BUD, and 71.8% indicated that BU sufferers first seek treatment from herbalists and only refer to the hospital as a last resort. The main
reasons were prospects of prolonged hospital stay, cost of transport, loss of earnings and opportunity associated with parents attending their children’s hospitalization over extended period, delays in being
attended by medical staff, and not knowing the cause of the disease or required treatment. The level of acceptance of BUD sufferers was high in adults but less so in children. The challenge facing health workers is to break the vicious cycle of poor medical outcomes leading to poor attitudes to hospital treatment in the community. Because herbalists are often the first people consulted by those who contract the disease, they need to be trained in early recognition of the pre-ulcerative stage of Buruli lesions.
Language eng
Field of Research 111708 Health and Community Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30007094

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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