Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Free Treatment Still Too Costly For Buruli Ulcer Patients

Date:
October 14, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Researchers have found that the fight against Buruli ulcer, a tropical skin disease, has hit a bump in Central Cameroon. Even as organizations provide free-of charge hospitalization care, patients' economic and social costs are preventing and delaying the treatment.

Researchers have found that the fight against Buruli ulcer, a tropical skin disease, has hit a bump in Central Cameroon. Even as organizations provide free-of charge hospitalization care, patients' economic and social costs are preventing and delaying the treatment.

Related Articles


Buruli ulcer disease is caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, part of the bacteria family that also causes tuberculosis and leprosy. The disease is present in over 30 countries, according to the World Health Organization, with the heaviest impact in Western Africa. The disease is characterised by long-lasting, hard-to-heal skin lesions which, in serious cases, can lead to amputation and deformities. Despite free treatment, hospital abandonment (patient abandonment by their families, and patients' abandonment of treatment) is a recurring problem.

To help determine the cause of this pattern, a study was carried out in Central Cameroon by PASS International. The research shows that the extra costs of transportation to the hospital, the earnings lost while caring for the patient, and other hidden expenses leave families needing to reduce or cut off all ties with their hospitalised family members. Over half (62%) of all patients at the time of the study were abandoned at the hospital due to the extra costs, which accounted for 25% of yearly earnings. With this in mind, many victims of Buruli ulcer either cease treatment before being healed or simply avoid seeking treatment in the specialised centres altogether.

This dynamic of abandonment is a serious issue, the authors say, because it jeopardizes the health of the victim and can lead to devastating future consequences such as deformity, disability, and loss of livelihood resulting in impoverishment.

The study concludes that bringing medical care closer to the victims could significantly reduce the social and economic burden of the disease. Since the time of the study, Leprosy Relief Emmaus-Switzerland, in close collaboration with Cameroon's Ministry of Health, has taken steps towards decentralisation of treatment, consisting of the early detection of the disease at the community level and antibiotic treatment at local health centres to reduce hospitalisation time. The evaluation of this decentralisation process could provide further insight into ways of improving patients' access to efficient treatment in low-income settings.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Peeters Grietens et al. “It Is Me Who Endures but My Family That Suffers”: Social Isolation as a Consequence of the Household Cost Burden of Buruli Ulcer Free of Charge Hospital Treatment. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2008; 2 (10): e321 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000321

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Free Treatment Still Too Costly For Buruli Ulcer Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014204438.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, October 14). Free Treatment Still Too Costly For Buruli Ulcer Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014204438.htm
Public Library of Science. "Free Treatment Still Too Costly For Buruli Ulcer Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014204438.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Dr. Oz Under Fire For 'Quack Treatments' Yet Again

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Ten doctors signed a letter urging Columbia University to drop Dr. Oz as vice chair of its department of surgery, saying he plugs "quack" treatments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins