Buruli Ulcer Lab Network

Diagnosing the flesh-eating disease, Buruli ulcer, can be difficult. To confirm a case, special labs have to run a series of tests; it can take weeks or months before a patient knows the results of their test. Also, not all labs use the same testing methods, so a lab might misdiagnose a person who desperately needs treatment.

Those weeks can have lifelong consequences for children like Erica. Undiagnosed, Buruli ulcer can lead to terrible scarring and disabilities.

That is why, with your support, we have created a network of laboratories in West Africa that cooperate with each other, working together to ensure fast, accurate diagnosis for hundreds of children like Erica.

Supported by the World Health Organization, American Leprosy Missions, and the Pasteur Center of Cameroon, this group of 12 labs is the largest research lab network in Africa. Working together, they all use the same high-level standards when testing for Buruli ulcer, and provide training for lab technicians to maintain those standards.

The Buruli Ulcer Laboratory Network includes labs in Benin, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Togo.

Read how the network was formed and what it means for other neglected diseases in West Africa. 

Thanks to your generosity, this network processes tests quickly and accurately so that more people can receive the care they need to heal from this terrible disease.