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10.06.2004 General News

Two drugs proven for treatment of Buruli Ulcer

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Kumasi, June 10, GNA- Clinical trials conducted at the Saint Martin's Hospital, Agroyesum, had shown the potency of two antibiotics, Streptomycin and Rifampicin, for the treatment of buruli ulcer. Dr Edwin Ampadu, Programme Manager of the Buruli Ulcer Project, who told newsmen said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has consequently given approval to the use of the drugs for the disease. He was addressing a surgical review meeting held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi on Thursday.

The two-day meeting is discussing ways of improving surgical delivery in the management and treatment of the disease, which is endemic in about 30 districts in the country and being attended by 20 participants made up of doctors, nurses and medical assistants. Dr Ampadu stated that the breakthrough in the use of the drugs had given a boost to efforts at managing the disease.

The Programme Manager said the country was making progress in the fight against the buruli ulcer and attributed this to the high level of awareness both at the community level and the medical field.

He said already 13 doctors and 36 nurses had been trained to treat the disease in Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Eastern, Central and the Greater Accra regions where there is a high prevalence of the disease.

He announced that a total of 739 new cases were recorded throughout the country last year and another 165 cases have been reported this year.

Professor Peter Donkor, Head of the Surgical Department of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), noted that there was still a lot of ignorance among medical personnel about the disease. He said there was therefore the need for more in-service training to effectively equip them to deal with that health problem. 10 June 04