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Community Knowledge and Perceptions about Buruli Ulcers in Obom Sub-District of the Ga South Municipality in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana

DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2018.89037, PP. 621-645

Keywords: Buruli Ulcer, Knowledge, Perceptions, Reactions

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Abstract:

Community knowledge and perceptions of the cause and consequently the appropriate measure to remedy an ailment determine whom people turn to for advice, help, information and treatment when bogged down with a disease. The role that community plays in the etiology, explanation, prognosis and treatment seeking behaviour cannot be underscored, because it provides indepth information on the burden of the disease, the local understanding of the causes of the disease and therefore its management. The purpose of the study was to describe community knowledge and perceptions about Buruli ulcer (BU) and how to prevent Buruli ulcer in the Obom sub-district of Ghana. Survey questionnaire was used as an instrument for data collection to solicit information on community knowledge and perceptions of Buruli ulcer in the communities. In selecting respondents for the community survey, systematic sampling was used to select 300 respondents for the study. The study revealed a high level of knowledge about Buruli ulcer in the selected endemic communities. However, Buruli ulcer patients were perceived as people who have been bewitched (36.7%). Others (21%) blamed them as people who did not take good care of themselves while another 11.1% saw Buruli ulcer infected people as having normal wounds. Findings therefore show that although there was a high knowledge of signs and symptoms of Buruli ulcer among community members in the Obom sub-district, their understandings and interpretations of its causative factors varied from those of the biomedical understandings. Based on the results of the study, it is recommended that community outreach and education on the treatment and management of Buruli ulcer should be continued on a sustainable basis in the endemic communities.

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