Objectives To evaluate former Buruli ulcer disease (BUD) patients to assess the factors associated with functional limitations and subsequent employment or schooling.
Methods The previously validated Buruli ulcer functional limitation score (BUFLS) questionnaire and interviews about educational and professional consequences incurred by BUD.
Results Of 638 participants, 362 (57%) had a functional limitation after a median period of almost 4 years after treatment for BUD. A lesion on a joint, older age, female gender, a lesion on a distal part of an extremity and a persistent wound were found to be independent risk factors for stopping work or education. The same risk factors applied to the development of a functional limitation. Both functional limitations and financial difficulties due to BUD disease often led to job loss and school dropout.
Conclusions Rehabilitation programmes are urgently needed to diminish the suffering from the functional limitations and employment or schooling problems caused by BUD.