Taabo: Launch of the thermotherapy project on the management of wounds and Buruli ulcers

6 May 2019

The city of Taabo in Côte d’Ivoire hosted the launch of the thermotherapy project on the management of wounds and Buruli ulcers, carried out by CSRS and the University of Heidelberg, Germany, from 23 to 26 April 2019.

This kick-off workshop brought together all project stakeholders: the project team, researchers, technical health services and community representatives. At the beginning, an overall presentation of the project was given by Prof. Thomas Junghanss of the collaborating Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany. This was followed by the training of Taabo health workers in the management of wounds and buruli ulcers.

Why treatment with thermotherapy?

To date, the mode of transmission of Buruli ulcer is unknown and the only remedy is diagnosis and early treatment. Due to the paucity of epidemiological information on wounds in general, the project originally planned the expansion of buruli ulcer treatment trials to include all forms of skin wounds.

Thermotherapy has been implemented to contribute to better healing, improved wound management and a better understanding of the clinical epidemiology of these wounds in rural areas.

The treatment of wounds by heat (thermotherapy) is part of the control strategy recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). It favors early detection and integrated management of patients at the community level for all skin diseases.

During his speech, Prof. Bassirou Bonfoh, principal investigator of this project from the Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques in Côte d’Ivoire (CSRS), revealed that several cases were detected in Taabo. There are 34 chronic wounds, the oldest of which is 25 years old. These affected people will benefit from treatment and also nutritional advice. They will be given dietary supplements to help heal wounds.

How long will the project run?

The thermotherapy project is funded over three (03) years by the Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation, the SwissTPH and the Afrique One-ASPIRE consortium. It is implemented on the Taabo Demographic Surveillance Site (HDSS) with the General Hospital of Taabo, the CSRS in collaboration with the Clinical Tropical Medicine Section of the Heidelberg University Hospital (Germany) and the Molecular Immunology Unit (UIM) of the Swiss Institute of Tropical Health and Public Health Basel (Swiss TPH).

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