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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 371915, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Buruli Ulcer: Treatment Challenges at Three Centres in Ghana

1Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
2Department of Mathematics, College of Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
3American Leprosy Missions, 1 Alm Way, Greenville, SC 29601, USA

Received 31 July 2012; Revised 5 November 2012; Accepted 6 November 2012

Academic Editor: Marcel Tanner

Copyright © 2012 Pius Agbenorku et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. This retrospective study was to identify some challenges in the treatment of Buruli ulcer (BU) and present a proposed treatment regime. Materials and Methods. Information from patients medical records, hospital database, and follow-up findings on BU treatment procedures from 1994 to 1998 and from 2004 to 2007 at three research sites in Ghana were reviewed to determine the treatment challenges encountered. Data needed were recorded and analyzed, and results presented using SPSS version 17.0. Results. A total of 489 BU patients information was selected for the study. A majority (56.90%, ) of the patients were children (0–14 years), with a mean age of 12.8 years. Significant challenges in BU treatment in Ghana identified included sequelae ( ), delayed treatment ( ), and high treatment cost ( ). Duration of hospital stay was clearly correlated with the time spent at home prior to admission; spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was 0.72 (95% CI 0.42–0.87). Conclusion. Delays in seeking treatment among BU patients were the main factor which resulted in most of the other factors contributing to the challenges in treatment. A combination of psychosocial and biomedical approach was proposed as holistic method to alleviate the challenges in BU treatment.