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Implementing active community-based surveillance-response system for Buruli ulcer early case detection and management in Ghana.

By Collins S K Ahorlu, Daniel Okyere and Edwin Ampadu


BACKGROUND:Buruli Ulcer (BU) is one of the most neglected debilitating tropical diseases caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, which causes considerable morbidity and disability. Building on earlier findings that community-based interventions could enhance case detection and reduce treatment dropout and defaulter rates, we established an active surveillance-response system in an endemic sub-district in the Ga West municipality of Ghana to enhance early case detection, diagnosis and treatment to reduce or eliminate severe ulcers and its related disabilities. METHODS:We established surveillance response system, implemented in collaboration with the sub-district disease control officers, selected clinical staff and trained community-based volunteers. The active community-based surveillance- response system was implemented for 12 months. Also, pre and post intervention surveys were conducted to document any change in perceptions on BU in the study population over the period. The baseline and endline surveys were conducted in August 2016 and August 2017 respectively. RESULTS:On average, each person was seen 11 times in 12 months. In all 75 skin lesions were detected during surveillance rounds, out of which 17 were suspected to be BU and 12 out of the 17 were confirmed as BU using Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Out of the 12, five, three and four were categories I, II and III lesions respectively. Physical examination was done on 94% of the people seen during the surveillance rounds. Knowledge on BU has also increased in the communities at the end of the study. CONCLUSION:The findings from this study have demonstrated that it is possible to establish surveillance-response system for BU and by extension, other neglected tropical diseases to enhance control and elimination efforts through the use of community-based volunteers

Topics: Arctic medicine. Tropical medicine, RC955-962, Public aspects of medicine, RA1-1270
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006776
OAI identifier:
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