Yaws and other endemic treponematoses

Current situation of yaws in Ghana

Report from the MOH, Ghana (2008)


For decades, Ghana has been a major endemic country in West Africa. It is the only country in Africa to maintain its yaws control programme after the early 1990s when many yaws programmes disappeared. In 2008, the National Yaws Control Programme was reconstituted as the National Yaws Eradication Programme with the principal aim to eliminate yaws by 2012. A national task force has been set up to guide the implementation of the elimination plan. The programme, supported by the Ministry of Health, WHO and other local partners, is being implemented in schools and communities.

Surveys carried out in 2008 show prevalence of yaws in Ghana at 0.681% with prevalence in some rural communities up to 20%. The Eastern, Central and Western regions are the most affected places but all the 10 regions and nearly all the 170 districts report yaws. A total of 28,000 cases were reported in 2008 and the pattern from 1970 to 2008 is shown in Figure 1.

The Ministry of Health is now focusing on scaling up active surveillance and containment through early detection and treatment of cases and contacts. The main challenge is the mobilization of adequate resources to get the work done within the set target date of 2012.

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