From Samuel Duodu, Sunyani
Six institutions including the Rotary Clubs of Sunyani Central and Rocky Mount, United States of America ( USA ) and the Rotary Foundation have initiated a project to help reduce to the barest minimum Buruli Ulcer, a tropical flesh eating disease, in six endemic regions in the country.
The institutions are the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Georg Fisher Jubilee Clean Water Foundation based in Switzerland and the Carter Centre, Ghana.
The partnership to fight this debilitating and painful disease will be through the provision of clean water at the cost of $103,000 in the endemic areas of the country.
The regions are the Brong Ahafo, Western, Eastern , Ashanti , Central and the Greater Accra.
According to statistics available at the Ghana Buruli Ulcer Eradication Project (GBUEP) the country records at least 1,000 new cases of the disease annually which affects mostly children under 15 years.
Buruli Ulcer is also said to be one of the tropical diseases in the country that has been neglected according to the GBUEP.
Currently, the project has received a grant of $72,000 for the drilling of boreholes in the Brong Ahafo and Western regions, while the Rotary Foundation, Rotary Club of Rocky Mount, USA, Georg Fisher Foundation and other partners of the project have also contributed $100,000 and $70,000 respectively to ensure the success of the project.
An additional $275,000 is expected by the close of this year under the project for the drilling of more wells and boreholes, the repairing of 13 existing wells, the construction of 179 sanitation facilities, and education on water-borne diseases and basic medical care for the endemic areas in the country.
Interacting with the media at a ceremony organised by the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central to throw more light on the project in Sunyani, Dr Edwin Ampadu, Director of the Ghana Buruli Ulcer Eradication Project, lauded the initiative and said the project which sought to give attention to Buruli Ulcer in the same manner as the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme would help deal with the disease in the country.
He stated that the government had made the treatment of buruli ulcer free of charge in the country.
Rotarian Samuel Ankama Obour, the President of the Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, said the partnership was to help provide clean and safe drinking water to fight buruli ulcer and other water-borne diseases in the endemic areas of the country.
Apart from the Buruli Ulcer Project, Mr Obour said the club with the support of the Rotary Clubs of Nanaimo, Lantzville, in Canada and the Rotary Foundation had purchased computers, textbooks, cupboards, teaching aids, basic health and sanitation materials worth $20,765.00 for the pupils of the Sunyani Municipal Primary School.
He said the club through its partners had also constructed one mechanised borehole, purchased a computer and accessories and mosquito nets for Korkor’s Charity Orphanage at Techiman at a cost of $11,735.00.
Mr. Obour said the club with support from Rotary Clubs of Rocky Mount, Crossville and Rotary Foundation was undertaking another project to provide clean and safe water in the Brong Ahafo and Western Regions at the cost of $51,926.00 to eliminate guinea worm disease and reduce water-borne illnesses and the provision of boreholes for five rural communities in Kassena-Nankana District in the Upper East Region at the cost of $38,000.00 with support from Rotary Club of Vorden, Netherlands.