Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 2:50 PM
VULNERABLE PEOPLE, VULNERABLE PLACES AND HEALTH: THE CASE OF BURULI ULCER IN GHANA
Vulnerability to disease is inevitably tied to specific places and people. Consequently, the most vulnerable population bears the brunt of the burden of communicable disease. Such people usually live in areas that are least able to resist diseases; areas that attract more of such vulnerable people. Moreover, by creating an environment of heightened vulnerability, such places increase the risk of disease for all who live there.
This paper examines this hypothesis in the context of Buruli Ulcer in Ghana where global gold prices have led to the proliferation of small scale, and frequently, illegal gold mining using dangerous practices. Buruli Ulcer outbreaks in Ghana appear to follow these activities, but the disease usually affects the most vulnerable population – children and the poor. Using field data from ongoing field work in Ghana, we explore this hypothesis.
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