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Free Content Psychosocial aspects of health seeking behaviours of patients with Buruli ulcer in southern Benin

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We investigated cultural beliefs and psychosocial factors associated with Buruli ulcer in southern Benin in order to elaborate and deliver appropriate health education messages. We conducted a qualitative study among 130 adults and 30 children in Zou province, a highly endemic region. Focus group interviews of inhabitants, patients and their assistants, health care professionals and traditional healers took place in Dasso, Ouinhi, Sagon and Zagnanado. Drawing sessions followed by individual interviews were organized among school children in Dasso and Sagon. We found that although Buruli ulcer is well known and recognized – even at a very early stage of the disease – and perceived as threatening, most people are reluctant to seek treatment at the health care centre. They are unclear about the origin of the disease (environmental factors or sorcery) and treatment is considered devastating, expensive and ineffective in some cases.
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Keywords: Benin; Buruli ulcer; beliefs; health education; perceptions; prevention; psychosocial aspects

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Health and Patient Education Unit RESO, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium 2: National Buruli Ulcer Programme (PNLUB), Cotonou, Bénin 3: Centre Sanitaire et Nutritional Gbemoten, Zagnanado, Bénin 4: Mycobacteriology Unit, Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium

Publication date: 2003-08-01

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