Community Mobilization to scale up skin infections in the Ga West and South Municipalities of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana

Name of Presenter: 

Dr. Eric Koka

Date Time: 

Monday, January 30, 2017 - 10:00


Department of Sociology & Anthropology Conference room


Abstract Community Mobilization to scale up skin infections in the Ga West and South Municipalities of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana Eric Koka, 1, 2, Daniel Okyere, 2 Samuel Aboagye2and Dorothy Yeboah-Manu2 1University of Cape Coast, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Cape Coast, Ghana 2Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Box LG581, Legon, Ghana Background:In our previous studies, we implemented a multidisciplinary project involving social scientist, microbiologists and clinicians to control Buruli ulcer in some endemic areas of Ghana. A striking observation made during community education, screening and surveys for BU was that other skin infections were often found in the endemic communities. Eight communities were identified as having high cases of skin infections especially among school children. Four out of these eight villages were randomly selected for a pilot study.Subsequently, screening for other skin infections, we identified leprosy, yaws and other skin conditions within these study communities. Method: The study was conducted between July to December 2015in the Ga West and South districtsof the Greater Accra region of Ghana. The pilot study involved showing documentaries on Buruli ulcer and pictures of other skin infections, especially those depicting success stories of medical treatments in the night usually between 7 and 9 pm. The documentary was interspersed with questions and answers. Early morning mass screening for suspected skin lesions especially among school children were conducted. Samples were taken from all presumptivecases for laboratory confirmation at the Noguchi memorial Institute for medical Research. Results:A total of 474 community members (including school children) were screened for all forms of skin infections in four villages. The children were 311 and adult community members were 163. The various cases of skin conditions identified and confirmed within the study communities fromthe pilot study were as follows:27 cases of yaws, 18 cases of ring worm, 23 cases of eczema and 6 cases of leprosy. Fifteen (15) unidentified skin infections were also found in the study districts. 81.4% (22)of the yaws cases found were children between the ages of 5 to 17 yearsand 100% of the ring worm cases were also children. Treatment was provided for all cases of skin infections in their respective communities except leprosy which were referred to the Amasaman district hospital. Conclusion:The data underline the need for a differential diagnosis system and expansion of our work beyond Buruli ulcer to include all other skin lesions including leprosy, ring worm and yaws for their etiology and appropriate care.


Dr. Osei Tutu Brempong


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