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Pecan Energies, BUVA Foundation fight Buruli Ulcer

In a collaborative effort aimed at tackling the escalating Buruli ulcer and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) crisis, Pecan Energies Ltd has joined forces with the Buruli Ulcer Victim Aid (BUVA) Foundation to provide vital resources to the community of Duaponko in the Afigya Kwabre North district of the Ashanti region.

The initiative includes the installation of a mechanized borehole, provision of essential drugs, and distribution of test kits, targeting the root cause of the surge in cases – contaminated water sources in rural areas.

Emmanuel Jackson Agumah, a survivor of Buruli ulcer and the founder of BUVA Foundation, emphasized the link between the disease and contaminated aquatic life, which is common in streams and water bodies relied upon by rural communities.

Residents of Duaponko, who previously shared their water sources with livestock, now find relief in the initiative by Pecan Energies, which addresses the critical need for clean water and healthcare resources.

Speaking on the significance of the partnership, Emmanuel Jackson Agumah shared his personal experience with Buruli ulcer and underscored the urgent need for early detection and management.

Despite ongoing global research to identify the exact mode of transmission, Agumah stressed the importance of community education and sensitization, citing resource constraints as a significant challenge.

Mr. Agumah said, “I personally had Buruli ulcer some years ago, and that motivated me to start this foundation because Ghana remains one of the endemic countries in the world if not second or third globally. We have a high number of Buruli ulcer cases in Ghana. The truth is that we still don’t know the exact mode of transmission, but there has been research ongoing in other universities globally to establish the mode of transmission. It has been suspected in Australia that some mosquitoes can transmit it, but for now, we haven’t recorded that in WHO’s records, so we still don’t know the exact mode of transmission.”

He added, “What we need to do is to encourage early case detection so that we can manage it. Now the problem is that we don’t have the needed resources to carry out health education and sensitization.”

Edward Aryee, CSR manager at Pecan Energies Ltd, highlighted health as a key pillar of the company’s corporate social responsibility activities, underscoring the company’s commitment to supporting initiatives that address pressing health issues in local communities.

The CSR manager indicated, “We decided to step in with our support because it borders on health. Health forms one of the key pillars in our corporate social responsibility activities. There was an urgent need for support when we were informed about the situation in Duaponko.”

Despite its devastating impact, Buruli ulcer remains one of the least discussed diseases in Ghana, disproportionately affecting children between the ages of 5 and 15, who account for up to 50% of total cases.

Through strategic partnerships and community-driven interventions, initiatives like the one in Duaponko offer hope in the fight against Buruli ulcer and other NTDs, emphasizing the importance of collective action in addressing public health challenges.

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