home
RSS
June 16th, 2008
03:31 PM ET

Cameroon's diseased children

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

In a small town called Akonolinga, about an hour outside Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, a strange disease is going around that primarily affects children. It starts as an ulcer on the skin that quickly spreads. Untreated, it can start to affect the bones and eventually even get into the bloodstream. If it gets to that point, there is little that can be done, and the child will often succumb to the disease. They try everything in this small village town to not let it get to that bad. They scrape away the skin, cutting out the diseased areas. They give injections of various medicines, and they keep people in hospitals for months. I met a young boy named Naturale, who had to have his left arm amputated at the shoulder. I almost cried when I met him. By the time he came into see a doctor, the disease was too far gone, his bones literally crumbling. As I visited the clinic, I learned the name of the disease: Buruli. I also learned something that stunned me — what many in this town believe is the origin of Buruli: Witchcraft.

It goes like this — as a punishment for taking something or some other trivial thing, these children had been cursed by witches and sorcerers living in the nearby areas. Take someone else’s mango for example, and soon after the child will get an ulcer. In Naturale’s case, he was born out of wedlock, and the witches in the area thought it would be better if he were dead. I was told they cursed him with a particularly severe infection, and he barely survived. Now he stays at the hospital trying to shield himself.

Now, if you think what you are reading is too far-fetched, you may be interested to know I sat down with Ph.D-level medical anthropologist, Karen Saylors, who explained all of this to me. Along with researchers associated with Johns Hopkins, she is studying Buruli.

Buruli ulcers have been reported in more than 30 countries, according to the World Health Organization. With the increasing geographical spread since 1980, WHO is working to improve surveillance and develop better tools to control the disease. Karen introduced me to traditional healers who knew all about placing a hex on someone and even how to cure the disease with herbs and a piece of bark.

While Karen and her colleagues don’t really buy into the idea of witchcraft, they also recognize what a widespread belief it really is here. Instead, Karen has busied herself studying the possibility that Buruli may be spread from animal to human. As it has many similarities to a staph infection, which can cause flesh to be ulcerated and seemlingly “eaten,”, the doctors are using powerful antibiotics with good success. Karen has even studied the particular traditional medicine herbs, which are often effective. What she found was that particular plant had some of the same ingredients found in streptomycin, an antibiotic.

As a doctor, it was amazing to see how this disease has been deciphered. It was also a fascinating glimpse into the connection between animals, plants and humans. Not only is the Buruli-causing pathogen most likely from an animal, but the medication used to treat it is from a local plant. And, if we look deep enough, we find this is in fact the case with many diseases.

Today, I will be in the wilderness of DRC, specifically a village called Lodja. We will be visiting a monkeypox surveillance clinic. I promise to report back on how the locals here are working to contain the virus so it doesn’t spread around the world. I can’t help be struck by the fact that we are in the middle of a very strong interface between man and animal. It has been here for millions of years, but it is only now that we are starting to understand its awesome culture, power and possible danger.  revised 6/19/2008

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


soundoff (890 Responses)
  1. redtube us

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but generally people do not speak about these subjects. To the next! Cheers!!

    https://sunhun.com/link.php?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/stake-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 22, 2021 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Camera California

    https://www.leroymerlin.com.br/logout?redirect=https://ocrvmotorsports.com/rv-repair-shop-baldwin-park-california

    May 22, 2021 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Toilets Riverside

    Aw, this was a very nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and don't seem to get anything done.

    http://bd.jinti.com/Return/go.asp?mail_id=20170911jd&url=https://mostarlive.com/home-4/

    May 23, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. gallery xnxx

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this web site.

    https://www.bioguiden.se/redirect.aspx?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/medical-bus-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 23, 2021 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. rv upholstery

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

    http://www.etracker.de/lnkcnt.php?et=qPKGYV&url=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/trailer-repair-near-me

    May 23, 2021 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. tausAffessy

    https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ side effects for tadalafil prescription tadalafil online tadalafil liquid tadalafil liquid

    May 24, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. trailer parts orange county

    This is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate info… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!

    https://www.datum.tv/ra.asp?url=http://ocrvcenter.com/5th-wheel-trailer-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 24, 2021 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tembepteriope

    generic cialis online fast shipping tadalafil cost in canada where to buy generic cialis online safely where to order tadalafil tablets https://apcalisetadalafil.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 04:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Tritreviewifind

    tadalafil blood pressure cialis tadalafil tadalafil daily online generic cialis online fast shipping https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 06:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. fayetteville nc hvac services

    Thank You for your information

    https://www.bottleshockmovie.com/tips-for-saving-money-on-hvac-repair-service/

    May 24, 2021 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. ac repair near fayetteville nc

    Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You're doing great work. Keep it up.

    https://www.storeboard.com/blogs/general/timing-is-essential-for-air-ailment-fix/4826419

    May 24, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. tea of the month club

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You're doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

    http://drpetepublishing.com/members/heavenoutput1/activity/429415/

    May 24, 2021 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Tritreviewifind

    tadalafil brands https://tadalafilol.com/ – tadalafil online with out prescription where to order tadalafil tablets cialis without a prescription canada generic tadalafil

    May 24, 2021 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. esurance rv

    Saved as a favorite, I like your web site!

    https://www.joblinkapply.com/Joblink/5972/Account/ChangeLanguage?lang=es-MX&returnUrl=http://ocrvcenter.com/shuttle-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    May 24, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. cyclomune

    cyclosporine for humans cyclomune 0.1% eye drops

    May 24, 2021 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Internet Marketing Specialist

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am going through troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand why I can't join it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    http://dancingstudio.info/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.affordableranking.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Mattresses Riverside

    http://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&url=http://radiobanadir.com/the-modern-day-lord-of-the-rings-film-shot-in-birmingham/comment-page-26/

    May 24, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV TV Near Me

    /

    May 24, 2021 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Slide Out Riverside

    https://navigator.az/redirect.php?url=https://terrainmuebles.net/index.php/propiedades/item/137-clinica-dentz?start=92510

    May 24, 2021 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Sound System Orange County

    https://www.p1-uranai.com/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=538&url=https://www.frostingbarcelona.com/dulce-budapest-goamama-coffee/desayuno_goamamacoffee_budapest_frostingbarcelona5/comment-page-4855/

    May 24, 2021 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. trailer repair places near me

    /

    May 24, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Used Forklift Tires California

    https://www.fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/disclaimer.jsp?ciURL=https://forkliftswildwestlifttrucks.com/dana-point-forklifts

    May 24, 2021 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Soosteemocush

    https://cttadalafil.com/ cheap generic cialis for sale https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ – cialis without prescription tadalafil cialis

    May 25, 2021 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. cyclosporine

    Cyclomune eye drops 0.05% cyclomune

    May 25, 2021 at 01:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. tausAffessy

    canada generic tadalafil tadalafil daily online buy cialis pills prescription tadalafil online https://tadacipetadalafil.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. New Forklift Service Shop California

    Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit yet again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

    http://sitecheck.elinkdesign.com/redirect.php?url=http://forkliftswildwestlifttrucks.com/skytrak-forklift-repair-orange-county-california

    May 25, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. combigan

    combigan generic combigan bottle sizecombigan

    May 25, 2021 at 03:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Internet Marketing Agencies Near Me

    https://www.erccorp.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 25, 2021 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Internet Marketing Services Near Me

    Howdy! I simply would like to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent info you've got here on this post. I will be returning to your blog for more soon.

    https://www.top-onlinecasinos.pro/out.php?https://www.affordableranking.com

    May 25, 2021 at 05:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Forklift Service Shop Near Me

    This is a topic which is close to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?

    http://www.digitalkamera.de/rdr?rdr=http://forkliftswildwestlifttrucks.com/forklift-dealer-orange-county-california

    May 25, 2021 at 06:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Forklifts Orange County

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always helpful to read content from other authors and use a little something from other websites.

    https://eu.eventscloud.com/emarketing/go.php?i=200276927&e=c2ltb24udGhvbWxpbnNvbkBsZWFkZXJzaW5zcG9ydC5jb20=&l=https://forkliftswildwestlifttrucks.com/contact/

    May 25, 2021 at 06:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil without a doctor prescription tadalafil liquid tadalafil buy cialis https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 07:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Internet Marketing Consultants Near Me

    You made some good points there. I looked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

    http://www.northeastfwb.org/System/Login.asp?id=54595&Referer=http://affordableranking.com

    May 25, 2021 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Tritreviewifind

    https://tadagatadalafil.com/ buy tadalafil https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – cheap cialis pills for sale generic tadalafil from uk

    May 25, 2021 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Google Marketing Companies

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I found this during my hunt for something regarding this.

    http://monarchbeachmembers.play18.com/ViewSwitcher/SwitchView?mobile=False&returnUrl=http://www.affordableranking.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Social Media Marketing Consultants

    You should take part in a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the internet. I am going to highly recommend this site!

    https://rentsocal.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 25, 2021 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Video Marketing Service

    https://retirementworkshop.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 25, 2021 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Video Marketing Consultants

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to generate a great article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.

    https://integratedpulsesystems.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 25, 2021 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Social Media Marketing Consultant

    Hello there, I believe your web site could possibly be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent website!

    http://mktdomercado.sitesdomercado.com.br/campanhas/redirecionar?url=http://affordableranking.com

    May 25, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Wraps Near Me

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't disappoint me as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, however I really thought you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

    https://www.l-www.sitepal.com/affiliates/entry/?spdirect=1&affId=75895&promotionId=17691&link=https://www.nigerianmedicals.com/court-orders-agf-army-igp-to-produce-who-consultant/

    May 25, 2021 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. avana

    buy avanafil uk avanafil stendra dosage

    May 25, 2021 at 23:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Kitchen Near Me

    Hi, I do think this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back yet again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

    http://zhouyiworld.com/home/link.php?url=guenterreiter.eu/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&limitstart=25380

    May 26, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. ac shop near me

    You are so interesting! I don't believe I've read through anything like that before. So great to find somebody with some unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that's needed on the web, someone with some originality!

    http://d-click.alterdata.com.br/u/15028/1120/88002/2068_0/6d5c3/?url=http://52.78.224.240/viewtopic.php?t=21934

    May 26, 2021 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Soosteemocush

    https://cttadalafil.com/ best price usa tadalafil https://cttadalafil.com/ – generic cialis tadalafil tadalafil side effects

    May 26, 2021 at 05:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. tausAffessy

    tadalafil liquid generic tadalafil from uk cheap cialis pills for sale tadalafil cost walmart https://cttadalafil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 06:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. dent devil san diego

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this info.

    /

    May 26, 2021 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Headlights Orange County

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://sc.hkeaa.edu.hk/TuniS/ocrvcenter.biz/conventional-trailer-collision-repair-paint-shop-near-me-orange-county

    May 26, 2021 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Batteries Near Me

    Howdy! This article couldn’t be written much better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Fairly certain he'll have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://trends.gab.com/visit?url=https://ocrv.me/rv-repair-shop-warner-center-california

    May 26, 2021 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. rv painters

    http://ljc.jieju.cn/agent/rdandstat.aspx?url=https://ocrvcenter.mobi/rv-repair-shop-manhattan-beach-california

    May 26, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Tritreviewifind

    tadalafil brands cheapest tadalafil cost canada generic tadalafil https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Leave a Reply to Emergency RV Repair Near Me


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.