Buruli ulcer: training of health workers at national and district levels on skin-NTDs

Buruli ulcer is a chronic debilitating disease Mycobacterium ulcerans that mainly affects the skin and sometimes bone. The mode of transmission to humans is unknown. Currently, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to minimizing morbidity, costs and prevent long-term disability.

This course is intended to provide basic information for front-line health workers to be able to implement the recommended control measures to minimize the negative impact of Buruli ulcer on populations.

Photo credits: Yves Barogui

Language: English
Buruli ulcer

Course information

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Overview: Buruli ulcer, caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is a chronic debilitating disease that affects mainly affects the skin and sometimes bone. The disease has been reported in 33 countries although 15 of them regularly report to WHO.

The aim of the course is to provide information about Buruli ulcer, epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, treatment and public health measures to increase knowledge and skills of national programme managers and front-line health workers to address this disease.

Course duration: Approximately 2 hours.

Certificates: A Record of Achievement certificate will be available to participants who score at least 80% in the final assessment. Participants who receive a Record of Achievement can also download an Open Badge for this course. Click here to learn how.

What you'll learn

  • Describe geographical distribution and trends of Buruli ulcer
  • Explain the clinical presentations
  • Describe laboratory diagnosis
  • Explain how to do treatment and care
  • List control strategies and the surveillance system, and
  • Describe the integrated skin-NTD approach.

Course contents

  • Module 1: Introduction to NTDs, to skin NTDs and to Buruli ulcer:

    This introductory module gives an overview of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), skin-NTDs, and Buruli ulcer. By the end of this module, you will: explain general information related to NTDs, skin NTDs and a historical overview of Buruli ulcer.
  • Module 2: Epidemiology:

    By the end of this module, you will describe the distribution, burden and causative organism, risk factors and transmission of the disease.
  • Module 3: Clinical and differential diagnosis:

    By the end of this module, you will: describe the clinical features to guide diagnosis, category of lesions, the impact of HIV on the progression of the disease, paradoxical reactions, and the common differential diagnosis.
  • Module 4: Laboratory diagnosis:

    By the end of this module, you will: explain the importance of laboratory confirmation of cases, different laboratory tests, methods of sample collection, storage, and transport to the reference laboratories.
  • Module 5: Treatment, complications and referrals:

    By the end of this module, you will: outline the treatment to give to patients, dosages, side effects, when surgery is indicated, wound care, physiotherapy, and referrals of complicated cases.
  • Module 6: Stigmatization and socioeconomic impact. Public health interventions:

    By the end of this module, you will: explain the negative impact Buruli ulcer can have on patients and their families, the cost of treatment, disability, and stigma associated with it. You will also describe the public health measures aimed at reducing the impact of Buruli ulcer populations.
  • Module 7: Surveillance:

    By the end of this module, you will: recall surveillance definitions, forms used to record and report Buruli ulcer cases, key indicators, and how to analyze and report on data.

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Learners enrolled: 2601

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 80% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.
  • Gain an Open Badge by completing the course.