This infection spreads around tropical swamps or lakes and its victims are mainly children who pick it up through being sent to fetch water for their families. It is painless to begin with, so often ignored until ulcers break open leading to scarring and deformity that can cause lifetime disablement.
So far there is no treatment except surgery. If caught at an early stage and skin grafting is available there is a good chance of recovery with proper functioning of the limb involved. If there is no treatment, scarring and deformity are the usual result leading to a lifetime of disablement.
One of CHCT’s earliest projects was a treatment centre at Amasaman, Ghana, named Helen’s House in memory of a young supporter, Helen Trott, whose family and friends raised much of the building costs. There is now a second building in a nearby market town caring for general injuries as well as children with Buruli.