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Social and Economic Factors Influencing Buruli Ulcer Health Seeking Decision Making in the Ga West and South Municipalities

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DOI: 10.4236/aasoci.2013.34025    2,318 Downloads   3,574 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Background:Buruli ulcer infection is generally referred to as a re-emerging disease with the highest burden in West Africa. In Ghana, about 1000 cases are reported annually. The former Ga district (now the Ga West and Ga South municipalities) continues to report the highest proportion of the worst ulcerated wounds in Ghana, despite various interventions implemented. The aim of this study was to determine factors affecting treatment-related decision making in BU affected families. Methods: Semi-structured questionnaire interview was conducted with 33 patients (≥15 years) and seven caretakers of children aged below 15 years to determine the social and economic factors influencing BU-related health seeking decision making and types of treatment choices that are made. Results: Respondents were afflicted with varied categories of the disease (category one (30%), category two (35%) and category three (35%)). Decisions to seek health care from biomedical facilities are influenced by factors such as advice from health workers (45.0%) and advice from family members (42.5%). Only a quarter (25%) of respondents actually mentioned “financial considerations” as one of the factors that influence their decision to seek for biomedical care. Whereas there was no significant relationship between family involvement in treatment decision making and category one (p = 0.5351) lesion, there was a significant relationship between family involvement in treatment decision making and categories two (p = 0.0434) and three (p = 0.0089) lesions. Conclusion: It appears from this study that financial consideration, which has been widely cited as a cause of treatment delay may be losing its influence to social factors. With the advent of free antibiotics treatment more studies are needed to identify social factors affecting BU treatment decision making so as to redesign health promotion messages appropriately, especially those aimed at getting patients into early treatment.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Ahorlu, C. , Koka, E. , Kumordzi, S. , Yeboah-Manu, D. & Ampadu, E. (2013). Social and Economic Factors Influencing Buruli Ulcer Health Seeking Decision Making in the Ga West and South Municipalities. Advances in Applied Sociology, 3, 187-192. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2013.34025.

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