Jawel Bashiru is a thirteen month old baby who lives with his moslem parents Issah Bashiru and Sahada Issifu and two older siblings at Ahyiaem, a community in the Nkoranza South district.
About six months ago, a nodule developed beneath his armpit which Sahada, his mother, mistook for a boil. Herbs were applied on it but it yielded no results. It later became oedematous (filled with fluid) and broke into a large ulcer after three weeks. Several attempts were made by the parents for the ulcer to heal through the application of various herbs but all were to no avail. “This brought untold misery to us. My once playful baby became very dull and cried most of the time. All pleas to take my son to the hospital fell on deaf ears because my husband believed it was a spiritual attack on our son”, says Sahada, Jawel’s mother.
Jawel’s pain continued until Sarah, a community health nurse in the community who had participated in a training on Buruli Ulcer identification and management organized for health workers in the Nkoranza South district and supported by Map Ghana, chanced upon Jawel during one of her routine
visits and suspected it to be BU. She then convinced his father for his son to receive medical treatment. After dressing the ulcer at the health center in the community, Jawel was referred to the district hospital in Nkoranza.
Upon arrival at the hospital Jawel was admitted and samples for laboratory confirmation were taken and and the ulcer was confirmed to be BU. Jawel stayed in the hospital for about ten weeks where he was given antibiotic treatment and was discharged upon completion. His ulcer was continuously dressed at the health centre in the community for about three weeks.
Now, Jawel’s ulcer is completely healed and he is back to being the happy and playful baby he used to be.” I am very happy for allowing my son to be sent to the hospital. Now I know this disease is not a spiritual one and can affect anybody at anytime. We look forward to sending our son to school when he comes of age. Thank you MAP Ghana for the knowledge imparted into these nurses to help my baby and our community.” These were the heartfelt words of Issah, Jawel’s father.