School of Health and Social Care – PhD / Open Research Seminar on Wednesday 24 April 2013 in R201, Royal London House at 1-1.50 pm,

You are cordially invited to the lunch time seminar below which is one of a regular series of HSC PhD seminars which are open to all.  Please feel free to bring your lunch.

‘The voice of people living with Mycobacterium Ulcerans(Buruli ulcer) in the Amansie West district of Ghana’
Alex Effah


Mycobacterium ulcerans (locally known as Buruli ulcer) is a rare dermatological (skin) disease which affects mainly children under 15 years of age in many developing countries. Due to lack of knowledge of the disease many sufferers seek medical intervention at a time when the disease has progressed leading to extensive ulcers which are difficult to treat. As a consequence many sufferers end up with severe lesions which have led to the destruction of major organs such as limb amputations, loss of genitals, varied forms of bodily disfigurements and prominent scars as well as other contracture deformities which affect their activities of daily living.

To-date the biomedical approach to understanding Buruli ulcer dominates the literature. It must be borne in mind that beyond morbidity and mortality Buruli ulcer inflicts enormous physical, social and psychological costs not only on the individual sufferer but his/her family and the community, yet there is lack of a rigorous qualitative study to understand the illness experience of people living with this devastating skin disease. This study therefore used the grounded theory approach to understand the illness experience of people living with Buruli ulcer in the endemic district of Amansie West. The constant comparative method of analysis led to the core category of Re-living the trauma of my ulcer. The grounded theory has uncovered the reasons why people with Buruli ulcer report late for medical treatment, the effects of the illness on their quality of life and well-being as well as their perceived support needs.  Recommendations and areas for further research into the lives of people living with Buruli ulcer are explored.

Alex Effah is at the write-up stage of his PhD.