Saturday, 2 March 2013
The Flesh-Eating Disease
This week has been busy. I have been photographing what is commonly called "The cotton disease" in some local communities of Ghana.
Buruli Ulcer is a terrible disease. Nobody still knows, after many years of research, exactly what causes it or how it is transmitted.
Because the disease is very damaging to the human form when discovered late, now there are attempts to diagnose and treat it at the stage one of its development by screening children in schools for nodles, which often look like boils but are totally painless.
Overtime, what starts as a painless nodle soon becomes a ferocious flesh-eating demon with unsatiable appetite. Treatment takes an average of 56 days for mild cases to several years for most patients. Lots of infected children drop out of school because it is hard to go to school with so much pain, and also they often have to be admitted in hospitals for the duration of their treatment.
Among the local communities, people hide their infections until it is too late because they think Buruli Ulcer is a curse for infidelity, theft and other crimes. Fortunately, there is a lot of sensitisation going on still, even though Buruli Ulcer is considered a neglected disease.
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