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13.12.2005 Regional News

Workshop for teachers on early detection of Buruli ulcer ends

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Manso-Nkwanta (Ash), Dec. 13, GNA - Mr Ben Kwakye-Adeefe, Amansie West District Chief Executive, has called on teachers to team up with Community-Based Volunteers Surveillance (CBVS) in the district to identify early Buruli ulcer cases to reduce its fatalities and spread. Mr Kwakye-Adeefe made the call when addressing the closing session of a day's training workshop for 40 basic school teachers selected from two circuits within the district at Manso-Nkwanta at the weekend. The workshop organised by the Ministry of Health (MOH) was funded by ANESVAD, a Spanish Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).

Mr Kwakye-Adeefe said the assembly through its Common fund built a Buruli ulcer complex ward for the Saint Martin's Catholic Hospital at Agroyesum to support the existing ward to accommodate the increase in patients who were forced to sleep on the floor.

Dr Joseph Adomako, District Director of Health Services, explaining the early symptoms of the disease, said the disease begun as a painless nodule or plague in the skin and when not treated would lead to massive ulceration by debilitating deformities. He said 35 out of 54 Buruli ulcer patients now on admission at the Agroyesum hospital were children between the ages of 12 and 15 years. Dr Adomako commended the sponsors for their continuous support for the poor and sick. He said last year, ANESVAD donated a pick-up, a film projector, a motorbike and funds to train 300 people including teachers, chemical sellers and traditional healers and visited 80 endemic communities to show Buruli ulcer films.

The District Director of Health Services, advised teachers to support the health sector and report any suspected boil to the nearest hospital or clinic, adding "early reporting is vital as late treatment leaves deformities."

Mr John Bawah, Hospital administrator at the Agroyesum hospital, said problems of the hospital included lack of doctors as there was only one resident doctor supported by two Cuban doctors. He appealed to the Government to reimburse the hospital with 285 million cedis being bills incurred on Buruli ulcer patients who continued to receive treatment at the hospital.