Scabies is one of the commonest dermatological conditions worldwide estimated to affect over 200 million people at any time. However, evidence seems to suggest that this condition as one of the most under-reported or misdiagnosed skin diseases in the country and this is mostly due to limited expertise on the subject matter by most clinicians, raising a cause for concern.
The focus on this condition by the group is stemmed by the core mandate of the team to tackle skin neglected tropical diseases within the country. Due to the highly focal nature of the disease, outbreaks tend to be common and this can cause a lot of discomfort and cause some socio-economic burdens on affected individuals and their households.
The project is a collaborative effort between the KCCR team led by Prof. Richard O. Phillips and Dr. Yaw Amoako Ampem in Ghana and the University Medical Center for Groningen led by Prof. Dr. Ymkje Stienstra in the Netherlands. The Scabies team is focused on using questionnaire-based surveys and such similar approaches, to collect data on the disease burden and the knowledge, beliefs and attitudes to scabies within various households, schools and other entities in the communities targeted, in order to estimate diseases prevalence and inform for the implementation of interventions and policies which may be scaled up to regional and national levels. This is in line with the WHO action criteria 1 for scabies and other ectoparasites.
Works have by far been done at the East Mamprusi District in the Northern region of Ghana and currently at the Sekyere East district in the Ashanti region where outbreaks have been reported by health professionals based there. The team has also been in partnership with health personnel from the Kokofu health center for the study.
The team hopes to contribute substantial and accurate data on scabies to serve as the backdrop against which more focus may be invested into the control and management of scabies within the country. This may facilitate the use of interventions such as MDAs for the control of the disease.