Posted by Wendy Adams on May 17, 2019
Guest speaker Rotarian Peter Labelle spoke to the Stittsville club about Cornwall Sunrise’s project in Ghana to combat Buruli Ulcer, a tropical flesh-eating disease caused by a bacterium from the same family as leprosy and tuberculosis.
The disease frequently occurs near slow-flowing rivers, ponds, swamps and lakes, and affects children in particular. Caught at its earliest stage, treatment with antibiotics is relatively simple and inexpensive but, for many, the disease remains shrouded in fear and superstition.
The focus of the project was early detection and treatment, by educating local community leaders, teachers and health care workers in villages in one of the Ashanti districts where the disease is endemic. For the less fortunate for whom the disease has progressed beyond the earliest stage, the program also included treatment, surgery, rehabilitation and reintegration.
Because of the success of the project, the World Health Organization has changed its protocol for treating the disease. The Rotary Club of Cornwall Sunrise is also applying for a new Global Grant to support an expanded project covering additional districts and screening for other neglected tropical diseases at the same time.