As you may be aware Ghana and Uganda are the two countries most impacted by this terrible disease that causes necrotic skin wasting, mostly in children. To this day the actual cause of this disease not known and the only treatment is antibiotics (if diagnosed very early) or surgical removal of the infected area.
The problem in Africa is that this is very rarely diagnosed early enough and the patient ends up having to have surgery which often removes a large area.
The aim of this project is to improve diagnosis in the field, better wound treatment and investigation and treatment of the point of infection.
To this end we will be coming to Ghana with the world experts in wound treatment from the Association for the Advancement of Woundcare in Boston, USA. We will also be bringing the latest technology in diagnosis including a newly designed camera that causes the infected areas to fluoresce in the pictures.
Additionally we hope to finally be able to pin down what is actually causing this terrible disease using a new portable DNA lab. As we have already managed to map the DNA of the bacteria that causes the disease we can now test almost anything (wounds, blood, soil, food, water, etc.) for presence of the bacteria within ninety minutes.
This will allow us to also target the root cause of the infections.
Portable DNA Lab
Safe Water in Ghana:
It is widely believed that the bacteria that causes the Buruli Ulcer (Mycobacterium ulcerans) is most likely coming from the water (either from the water itself or an inhabitant of the water) the team will also be looking to implement and test the latest in rural water filtration.
We have a couple of prototypes already that use multiple filters of different types as well as a strong UV to kill any bacteria.
We are currently working to have these work entirely off the grid, preferably using solar technology.
For both these projects we will be arriving in Ghana with a team and the prototypes to trial and install in August. We are working with Oheneba Nana Kwame Obeng II to install one of these devices in the village to provide all there with safe, clean drinking water in August this year.