Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 178-183

Perspectives of buruli ulcer patients toward informed consent – An insight from Nigeria

1 Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku/Ozalla Campus, Enugu, Nigeria
2 College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria
3 National TB & Leprosy Training Centre, Saye, Zaria, Nigeria
4 Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria
5 Anambra State Ministry of Health, Nigeria
6 Ogun State Ministry of Health, Nigeria
7 German Leprosy & Tuberculosis Relief Association, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ijeoma Angela Meka
Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku-Ozalla Campus, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_27_20

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Introduction: Informed consent is a basic ethical requirement in situations involving sharing of patients' data. It supports and upholds the ethical principle of respect for persons and individual autonomy. For Buruli ulcer (BU) patients, associated stigma renders them vulnerable, hence the need for emphasis on additional protection by ensuring obtaining informed consent before third party use of their data. The authors therefore sought to determine willingness of these patients to give informed consent to the third party use of their data before and after treatment. Methodology: This cross-sectional study was carried out between February and August, 2019. The study involved BU patients from three endemic states in Nigeria. Data were collected using pretested, researcher-administered semi-structured questionnaires. Results: A total of 92 respondents participated in the study. The median age was 23.5 years (range 4–74 years) with the age group <15 years being the modal age group 36 (39.13%). About a quarter of the respondents (23.91%) had suffered some form of discrimination in the course of their disease. Majority 86 (93.48%) were favorably disposed to allowing the use of their data for donor drive, policy development, and teaching/training purposes. A significant greater proportion of respondents 90 (97.83%) were willing to give consent for the use of their oral interview as against pictures and videos both in the pre- and post-treatment periods. Conclusion: The present study provides evidence that majority of the respondents were positively inclined to give consent to use of their data by a third party. However, intrusion into privacy and anonymity were major concerns for the respondents.

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