Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 655

Full Length Research Paper

The buruli ulcer morbidity in the amansie West District of Ghana: A myth or a reality?

Ebenezer Owusu-Sekyere
Department of Development Studies, University for Development Studies, Wa, Ghana.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 July 2013
  •  Published: 31 October 2013


Although there is a lot of literature on the possible causes of Buruli ulcer (BU), no one is sure where the bacterium lives in the environment. It is also a mystery how the mycobacterium enters the human body, although it is clear the bacterium is unable to do so by itself. There is therefore a lot of myth about the disease epidemiology. This research has shown that the myth surrounding the cause of the disease and the origin of the disease pathogen has affected the treatment option sought by patients and the intervention strategies put in place by health expects in the Amansie West Distrct of Ghana. Whereas some patients in the Amansie west district associate the disease with witchcraft and magico-religious beliefs, the study showed that the disease is associated with aquatic environment that have been disturbed either through mining or intense agricultural activity. The aim of this paper is therefore to expand the frontiers of the argument by examining some of the predisposing factors and to identify the spatial pattern in the distribution of BU in the Amansie West District. The paper concludes that despite the myth, the disease causing organism thrives well in arsenic rich aquatic environment. However because of the widely rooted wrong perception, any attempt to manage the disease must first target the myth, in order to manage the reality.


Key words: Buruli ulcer, morbidity, myth, reality, mycobacterium ulcerans.