Accra, Ghana – Chronic wounds present a major health burden in Ghana. Their management leads to an enormous drain of health care resources. A Buruli ulcer affects the skin, and usually starts as a painless nodule, papule, plague or oedema. Often, the ulcer then advances into a painless ulcer and if not treated, it leads to the formation of extensive ulcers, especially on the arms and legs. Affected persons who are not treated can develop lifelong deformities. This wound burden is a new concept and its treatment is currently gaining prominence in public health.
The cost of Buruli ulcer wound treatment takes a considerable amount of the hospital’s expenditure. Thus, hospital management must constantly examine its staffing norms and the associated cost to improve the hospital’s resource allocation.
In the study, “Health Facility Cost of Buruli Ulcer Wound Treatment in Ghana: A Case Study,” researchers from the School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences at the University of Ghana estimated the wound treatment cost borne by a Buruli Ulcer Treatment Centre in Ghana.
According to the study results, the total annual financial cost was US$121,189, of which 99% was recurrent cost. The annual Buruli ulcer wound treatment cost per patient was US$1,616. This constitutes about 13% of the hospital’s expenditure for 2011. The main cost component was the cost of the personnel involved in the wound treatment.
“Cost data provides health service management an essential and vital tool for resource allocation,” said Moses Aikins, PhD, Associate Professor at the School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana in Legon, Ghana.